Promises of States under International Law

By Christian Eckart

This book is concerned with the type of unilateral declaration that arises when a state announces its intention to follow a certain future course of conduct. Such declarations are extremely common, as a look at the weekly headlines of any major newspaper will quickly reveal. Many of these declarations made at the highest level are, of course, extremely and vaguely expressed, and are far from possessing a tangible legal commitment. But others deliver a very clear message. For instance, the United States' April 2010 declaration on the future use of nuclear weapons, or Kosovo's declaration of independence pledging to, inter alia, follow to its last letter the Ahtisaari Plan, may be taken as two very recent and prominent examples of unilateral declarations at the international level. In looking at such declarations, this book raises, as well as answers, the question of the precise legal value of such pledges in the realm of public international law. However, while such state 'promises' are broadly accepted as existing in the international legal sphere, the legal framework for such promises turns out to be far from clear, despite the International Law Commission's Guiding Principles adopted in 2006. Indeed, the Principles left many vital issues unanswered, which is why this book's focus on the difficulties is particularly welcomed. This is the first book to present a comprehensive overview of the legal effect of promises by states in international law. It is based on a thorough examination of International Court of Justice case law, state practices, scholarly writings, and opinions within the International Law Commission. (Series: Studies in International Law - Vol. 37)

356 pages

Publication Date: 1/6/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781849462327