Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Judgment Enforcement, Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 13 (1968)


Judgment enforcement is not a problem unique to international law. That persistent ontological assumption of the law-that a judgment is a decision-obscures the fact that statements made in a court room are simply words-signs and aymbols. These words may indeed carry some potential for compulsion. They may activate certain inculcated predispositions in the target audience to which they are directed and the audience may, as a result, regulate its collective behavior in conformity with the policy prescription of the judgment. But whether, to what degree and under what circumstances words will contribute toward realization of the desired social goal will depend upon numerous contextual factors.

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