Philosophers and political theorists have developed a number of different justifications for the duty to obey domestic law. The possibility of using one (or more) of these justifications to demonstrate that states have a duty to obey international law seems a natural starting point for an analysis of international political obligation. Amongst the accounts of the duty to obey domestic law, one that appears to have a great deal of intuitive appeal, and that has attracted a significant number of philosophical defenders, is the principle of fairness (or fair play). In this paper, I examine the possibility of using the principle of fairness to justify a moral duty on states to obey international law.

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Copyright © 2011, University of Western Ontario. The definitive version is available at: rudence /index.html

DOI: 10.1017/S0841820900005191

Full Citation: Lefkowitz, David. "The Principle of Fairness and States’ Duty to Obey International Law." Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24, no. 2 (July 2011): 327-46. doi: 10.1017/S0841820900005191.