Introduction
Stories about international organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
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This chapter shows that the dominant approach to custom-forming has remained adverse to the idea that international organizations and non-State actors contribute to the formation of customary international law. This orthodoxy promotes an image of these actors with which we, and the subsequent contributors to this volume, engage. From the perspective of the dominant approach, international organizations are often understood as having very restricted formal participation in the formation of customary international law. More generally, this traditional perspective holds that international organizations and non-State actors only have an instrumental or merely accidental participation in custom-formation. In some variants of this perspective, the role of non-State actors in custom-formation is even denied. This dominant approach offers a convenient starting point for this discussion attempted in this volume. It simultaneously provides a sounding board for reflecting anew on the possible ways in which international organizations and non-State actors can be seen as contributing to the formation of customary law. This chapter also introduces the contributions in this volume and comments on the suggestions that the process of formation of customary international law be understood beyond the static, formal rule-making framework.

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