The Non-State Actor and International Law: A Challenge to State Primacy?

Dialogue: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. 7 (1):1-19 (2009)
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With the emergence of powerful non-state actors onto the international plane, it has been necessary for international law to adapt and recognise legal actors other than the sovereign state. This article contends that it is essential that international legal recognition now be extended to multinational corporations and nongovernmental organisations. This ensures that such actors cannot escape accountability for violations of international law but also that they granted legitimate rights as participants in the international system. Such a development does not require that the primacy of the state under international law be diminished. On the contrary, the theory and practice of international law requires that the state retain its position atop the international hierarchy



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