Difference Between Hard Law And Soft Law

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Hard law and soft law are two types of law. Hard law remains the international binding law, it is authoritative and prescriptive. Different from hard law, because of its non-binding, soft law is often seen in international relations. According to scholar Kenneth W. Abbot and Duncan Snidal, there are three legal dimensions to distinguish harder law and softer law: obligation, precision, and delegation. In harder law, legal obligation will be higher, on the contrary, softer law‘s legal obligation will be weaker or even no legal obligation. With the precision of international law, harder law is also has higher degree of precision, and then softer law will use more ambiguous, general wording. The third dimension - delegation, the object of harder law and softer law to delegate interpretation or enforcement are different. Harder law is more likely delegate to the independent third party, but softer law is within the parties. (Abbot&Snidal2000)

The Advantages and Benefits of Hard Law in international relations
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Three dimension to distinguish hard law and soft law also show us, because of it has high degree of obligation, precision, and also delegation, it makes commitment credible by some of main arguments: “limiting self-serving interpretations”, “becoming part of domestic law”, and “mobilizing legally-oriented interest” and “advocacy groups”. Then when a law is more precise, states or parties has less ability to achieve their narrow interest. When a hard law becomes part of domestic law, the government will has domestic pressure to follow the law, can shows the importance of laws, and the groups can monitor and publicize state violation of
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