Realizing Utopia: Reflections on Antonio Cassese's Vision of International law

Enhancing the Rhetoric of Jus Cogens


Recent years have seen increasing references to jus cogens in the case law of several international and even domestic courts. Despite significant discussion in the literature, it remains difficult to identify the real consequences of this trend. The chapter on jus cogens in Antonio Cassese’s last book looks for operative means of enhancing jus cogens. The three proposed paths are not necessarily realistic, but to what extent do they need to be? The hypothesis here is that perhaps it is the act of reflection that sustains the notion of jus cogens and therefore keeps jus cogens itself alive and able to perform its rhetorical function.

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