The expression 'non-state actors' has become part and parcel of the common parlance of international lawyers. Together with the traditional subjects of international law, such as states and international organizations, non-state actors play an important role in international law-making, law-adjudication and law-enforcement processes. Although the subjects/actors discourse takes place in a variety of contexts, most of the time the relevant narrative merely describes how different actors participate in the legal process in any given area. Little attention has been drawn to the theoretical discourse about non-state actors and its relation to the doctrine of the subjects of international law. Whether the solution lies in 'relativizing' the subjects or rather in 'subjectivizing' the actors remains open to doubt. The constant swing of the pendulum from the normative to the descriptive mesmerizes the observer but hardly hides the struggle for determining who may legitimately and authoritatively perform legally relevant acts on the international scene.
Contents: Introduction: relativizing the subjects or subjectivizing the actors: is that the question?; Part I Non-State Actors in the Theory of International Law: The subjects of international law, Hersch Lauterpacht; Critical reflections on the Westphalian assumptions of international law and organization: a crisis of legitimacy, A. Claire Cutler; (I can't get no) recognition: subjects doctrine and the emergence of non-state actors, Jan Klabbers; The emergence of non-governmental organizations and transnational enterprises in international law and the changing role of the state, Daniel ThÃ¼rer; Paul Ricoeur and international law: beyond 'the end of the subject', Janne E. Nijman. Part II The Empirical Approach: Selected Non-State Actors: The individual and the international legal system, Robert McCorquodale; Nongovernmental organizations and international law, Steve Charnovitz; The invisible college of international lawyers, Oscar Schachter. Part III Participation by Non-State Actors in International Legal Processes: Law Making: NGOs, the International Criminal Court and the politics of writing international law, Michael J. Struett; The Ottawa Convention banning landmines, the role of international non-governmental organizations and the idea of international civil society, Kenneth Anderson; Law Adjudication: The amicis curiae before international courts and tribunals, Lance Bartholomeusz; Law Enforcement: The environmental accountability of the World Bank to non-state actors: insights from the inspection panel, Alix Gowlland Gualtieri; Globalization of human rights: the role of non-state actors, Andrea Bianchi. Part IV Non-State Actors' Accountability: the Quest for New Paradigms: The changing international legal framework for dealing with non-state actors, August Reinisch; Punishment of non-state actors in non-international armed conflict, William A. Schabas; Torture committed by non-state actors: the developing jurisprudence from the ad hoc tribunals, Jill Marshall; Responsibility beyond borders: state responsibility for extraterritorial violations by corporations of international human rights law, Robert McCorquodale and Penelope Simons; Overcoming NGO accountability concerns in international governance, Erik B. Bluemel; Name index.