Improving Compliance: Jus Cogens and International Economic Law

Cottier-Holzer, Thomas (2016). Improving Compliance: Jus Cogens and International Economic Law. In: den Heijer, Maarten; van der Wilt, Harmen (eds.) Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2015. Netherlands Yearbook of International Law: Vol. 46 (pp. 329-356). The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press 10.1007/978-94-6265-114-2_11

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The relationship of jus cogens and international economic law has largely remained unexplored, despite close linkages at the inception of jus cogens when slave trade and slavery was banned. The paper expounds the potential of international economic law for the realisation and enforcement of jus cogens, in particular of core labour standards and basic human rights. The right to protect ordre public values in international trade and investment law by means of import restrictions and conditioning investment by host states, respectively, provides an important basis to enforce values protected by jus cogens. However, recourse to process and production methods (PPMs) and conditionalities does not reach jus cogens in a comprehensive manner, and additional remedies need to be developed in international economic law, in particular relating to corporate social responsibility and finance and monetary affairs. Questioning the fundamental civil law distinction of jus cogens and jus dispositivum, the paper submits to conceive jus cogens as a matter of Common Concern of Humankind and to conceptualise protection and enforcement under this emerging doctrine, obliging states to cooperate but also take unilateral action if necessary.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Cottier, Thomas


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation




Netherlands Yearbook of International Law


T.M.C. Asser Press




Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2020 11:44

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:



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