Document Type



The Enforcement of International Judgments and Awards, 63 American Journal of International Law 1 (1969)


The world community is not on the brink of Armageddon because of a paucity of legal answers. Legal institutions exist. Moreover, any problem, without respect to the identity of the decision-maker, may be solved "legally": by impartial assessment of the facts and formulation of a decision by reference to the parties' commitments as well as to overriding community policies. Most frequently the real problem is not in arriving at an answer in law, but in enforcing an answer in law. In the final analysis, law is not only, as the Legal Realists contend, what the courts say but also what the sheriff does. Law comprises not only the verbal pronouncements of authoritative organs, but also the established patterns of behavior of the individuals composing society. In a lawfully ordered society there is a high correlation between authoritative pronouncement and popular behavioral conformity. In a lawfully effective society policies of commonweal, clarified by authorized procedures, can be enforced in the face of a recalcitrant minority.

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