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Implications of soft law regimes for small states: The experience of Switzerland and Liechtenstein


Langer, Lorenz (2020). Implications of soft law regimes for small states: The experience of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (SZIER), 30(2):235-264.

Abstract

In recent years, numerous so-called soft law regimes have been established, often in combination with effective international oversight and rigorous review procedures. This contribution considers the specific impact such regimes may have on small and very small states. Relying primarily on the experiences of Switzerland and Liechtenstein with GRECO and the OECD respectively, it is argued that international standardisation might not always sufficiently take into consideration the sometimes peculiar historical, political and institutional characteristics of small states; also, there is some risk that small states are exposed to particular scrutiny. Sentiments of unfair treatment may in turn lead to an increasingly negative attitude towards soft law in general, as illustrated by the unexpected parliamentary opposition to the U.N. Migration compact both in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Abstract

In recent years, numerous so-called soft law regimes have been established, often in combination with effective international oversight and rigorous review procedures. This contribution considers the specific impact such regimes may have on small and very small states. Relying primarily on the experiences of Switzerland and Liechtenstein with GRECO and the OECD respectively, it is argued that international standardisation might not always sufficiently take into consideration the sometimes peculiar historical, political and institutional characteristics of small states; also, there is some risk that small states are exposed to particular scrutiny. Sentiments of unfair treatment may in turn lead to an increasingly negative attitude towards soft law in general, as illustrated by the unexpected parliamentary opposition to the U.N. Migration compact both in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Institute of Legal Sciences > Constitutional, Administrative and International Law
02 Faculty of Law > Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (C2D)
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Small States, Soft Law, Sovereign Equality, GRECO, OECD, Migration Compact
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 13:26
Last Modified:22 Jan 2021 13:26
Publisher:Schulthess Verlag
ISSN:1019-0406
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:http://www.szier.ch/index.php?id=204

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