Conclusion: After Failure

  • Aidan HehirEmail author


Summarise the book’s main arguments and focus on the relationship between norms and laws. I argue that while norms matter and exercise definite influence, research on norms also points to the need for certain issues to be regulated by positive law and an attendant legal system capable of enforcing compliance and punishing violations. Laws and norms co-exist, but the very fact that there are distinct laws, and legal systems orientated towards their enforcement, demonstrates that norms in themselves are often not sufficiently robust to guard against and punish certain proscribed acts. Laws, of course, evolve from norms, but the gravity of certain acts necessitates that the proscriptions against their committal are articulated as positive laws backed up by a judicial, as opposed to political or social, regulatory mechanisms. The four crimes in the World Summit Outcome Document are recognised as a threat to the very fabric of international politics and our common humanity. Preventing and halting these crimes, therefore, necessitates legal proscription; this already exists. What is required, therefore, is more robust judicial regulation and independent enforcement of existing laws.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

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