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15 - Autonomy in International Law

About the Legal and Societal Limits to the Exercise of Consent

from Part III - Subjects and Institutions of Consent

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2023

Samantha Besson
Affiliation:
Collège de France, Paris
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Summary

The author attempts to unravel the close conceptual and practical connection between consent and autonomy. The chapter argues that consent is the vehicle of autonomy, vehicle through which States give themselves their own rules, both primary rules and secondary rules. Because the exercise of autonomy in the international society faces contextual limits, linked to the self (auto) and to the law (nomos), it is claimed, that consent appears not only to be characterized by power, but also by limitations. This holds true for consent in international law-making as much as for consent in international dispute settlement. The chapter focuses on both categories, discussing the theory of sources and institutional law-making with respect to the former and jurisdictional matters and applicable law with respect to the latter. It concludes – prospectively – with some thoughts on the future of autonomy and consent in international legal theory and practice

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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