In 2000 all federal German ministries were ordered to avoid international obligations as much as they could. The directive stipulated that negotiators should explore alternatives to formal undertakings based on international law. Bureaucrats in other administrations report similar expectations if not explicit directives. This new attitude toward international obligations reflects both the availability of novel ways for governments to interact across political borders, as well as new concerns about international legal tools, especially the formal international institutions. This preference for informal lawmaking suggests that international cooperation can be achieved without recourse to international legal tools and that the informality offers significant benefits to some governments. The aims of this paper are to explore some of the new modalities for international cooperation that avoid the formal tools of international law, and then to reflect on the motivations for their use as well as on the consequences of their proliferation.
Date of this Version
Eyal Benvenisti, ""Coalitions of the Willing" and the Evolution of Informal International Law" (January 2006). Tel Aviv University Law Faculty Papers. Working Paper 31.