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Learn How to Differentiate Between Soft and Hard Law

Learn How to Differentiate Between Soft and Hard Law
Law students are required to learn how to differentiate between these two terms for effective decision-making.

If you are a student studying international law then, you may have come across the terms namely “soft law” and “hard law”. It could be quite difficult to make the difference between these two law terms but as a law student, you should learn how to differentiate among them. You can also hire international law assignment help to understand the major difference of soft and hard law and correctly mention them in your academic coursework.

 Learn the Actual Meaning Behind the Hard and Soft Law

In order to learn how to differentiate, students must understand what soft and hard law actually mean? The soft law is the term used to denote the principles, agreements and declarations that are not legally binding. The soft law instruments can be easily found in the international environment. In short, soft law do not hold any legal force or have a binding force which is weaker than the traditional law.

On the other hand, hard law is the term that denotes the actually binding instruments. The involved parties in the hard law can legally enforce in front of the court. Some examples of the hard law are treaties, customary international rules, Security Council resolutions, etc.

Now, these are the definitions of the hard and soft law. What comes next is how you would differentiate by just reading the documents? What will decide the degree of hardness and softness? Here are some tips are given below that will help students to differentiate.

Identify the Type of Document 

One of the easiest ways to find the difference between hard and soft law is to identify the document. As mentioned above hard law is legally binding while soft law is not. There are some types of agreement students can straight declare the hard law such as: -


    The U.S. considers treaties

    Customary international rules

If your document state any of the above then, it is forced by hard law.

Analyse the Language of the Document

The degree of hardness and softness can be determined through the language of the document. Generally, the hard law document comes with a high degree of precision while the soft law, on the other hand, uses a more generous and appealing tone. Therefore, in the documents the comments are in precise terms then, it is legally binding and forced by the hard law.

Identify the Key terms and See How the Agreement Define Them

Majority of the international law is written in the operative language that basically diplomats the head of the state and other government leaders. The length of the definition also determines the degree of hardness and softness.

You can avail custom coursework writing services to find more information on the topic.

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