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.
Thomas Weatherall holds a JD from Georgetown University, Washington DC, a PhD in International Law from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford, and a BA in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland. This book is based on the doctoral thesis completed by the author as an International Scholar of the Cambridge Overseas Trust at the University of Cambridge.
Introduction: peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens); 1. The authority of jus cogens; 2. Material and formal sources of jus cogens; 3. Peremptory norms and the individual; 4. Peremptory norms and the state; Conclusion: international law and social contract.