6 avril 2016

OUVRAGE : T. Weatherall, Jus Cogens International Law and Social Contract

Catherine MAIA

One of the most complex doctrines in contemporary international law, jus cogens is the immediate product of the socialization of the international community following the Second World War. However, the doctrine resonates in a centuries-old legal tradition which constrains the dynamics of voluntarism that characterize conventional international law. To reconcile this modern iteration of individual-oriented public order norms with the traditionally State-based form of international law, Thomas Weatherall applies the idea of a social contract to structure the analysis of jus cogens into four areas: authority, sources, content and enforcement. The legal and political implications of this analysis give form to jus cogens as the product of interrelation across an individual-oriented normative framework, a State-based legal order, and values common to the international community as a whole.


Table of cases
Decisions of international courts and tribunals
Decisions of special tribunals
Decisions of regional courts
National court decisions

PART I. Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)

1. International law
A. Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)
B. Obligations erga omnes
C. The international law of responsibility
2. The social contract 

PART II. The authority of jus cogens 

3. The interests of the international community
A. The international community of States as a whole
B. Individual-oriented interests
C. The philosophy of human dignity
4. Human dignity as a general principle of law
A. Constitutional law
B. European Union law
5. The authority of jus cogens
A. Human dignity as a moral concept
B. Morality and peremptory norms
C. The expression of morality in jus cogens
6. Expression of an international social contract

PART III. Material and formal sources of jus cogens

7. Historical antecedents
A. Ancient law
B. The development of international law
C. The science of legal positivism
D. Jus cogens as public order in international law
8. The formal source of peremptory norms
A. Positive sources of international law
B. Article 53 of the Vienna Convention
C. A new source of international law
PART IV. Peremptory norms and the individual

10. Contemporary legal foundations
A. Individual legal personality
B. The human rights movement
C. Individual responsibility in international law
11. The content of jus cogens
A. Identifying peremptory norms
B. Self-determination
C. The common heritage of mankind
D. The right to life
12. Individual responsibility
A. Individual criminal responsibility
B. Individual civil responsibility
C. Immunities 
13. The form of jus cogens
A. The individual as the subject of peremptory norms
B. Social contract through historical exigencies
V. Peremptory norms and the State
PART V. Peremptory norms and the State

14. The enforcement of jus cogens: obligations erga omnes
A. Prevention and consequences for third-States
B. Protection and the use of force
C. Punishment and universal jurisdiction
15. State responsibility and jus cogens
A. State responsibility for internationally wrongful acts
B. Dual responsibilityC. Standing before the International Court of Justice
D. Jurisdictional immunity of the State
16. An illustration: the Libya crisis
A. The violation of peremptory norms
B. Breaches of obligations erga omnes arising from peremptory norms
C. Consequences for breaches of obligations erga omnes
D. Individual and State responsibility
17. Realizing the international social contract

PART VI. International law and social contract

18. Legal observations
A. An individual-oriented jus cogens
B. The State-based legal framework of peremptory norms
19. Theoretical implications
A. Frameworks relevant to jus cogens
B. The social contractC. Final remarks
20. Annex


Thomas WEATHERALL, Jus Cogens International Law and Social Contract, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015 (554 pp.)

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