Evolution of international law: Two thresholds, maybe a third

Anthony D'Amato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


International law is a singular exception to the top-down systems of law within nations. It presents the puzzle of how the law can be created or changed in the absence of authoritative rule-making institutions. The present paper is part of a work in progress that locates the law-making apparatus of international law in a complex adaptive system. Herein the focus is on thresholds. The first and most detailed threshold describes the emergence of the complex adaptive system. The second threshold consists of the transformation of international law from the voluntary to the automatic. The third threshold is here but has not yet been crossed: actualizing human rights as enforceable claims by individuals against States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComplex Adaptive Systems and the Threshold Effect
Subtitle of host publicationViews from the Natural and Social Sciences - Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 AAAI FAll Symposium - Arlington, VA, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2009Nov 7 2009

Publication series

NameAAAI Fall Symposium - Technical Report


Other2009 AAAI FAll Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityArlington, VA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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