Concepts for International Law
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Concepts for International Law

Contributions to Disciplinary Thought

Edited by Jean d’Aspremont and Sahib Singh

Concepts shape how we understand and participate in international legal affairs. They are an important site for order, struggle and change. This comprehensive and authoritative volume introduces a large number of concepts that have shaped, at various points in history, international legal practice and thought; intimates at how the many projects of international law have grappled with, and influenced, the world through certain concepts; and introduces new concepts into the discipline.
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Chapter 39: Legal dilemma

Valentin Jeutner


The entry introduces the concept of a legal dilemma as a term of art. Specifically, the concept of a legal dilemma, as understood and construed in this entry, refers to an unavoidable and irresolvable conflict between norms of international law. The entry unpacks and explains the various elements of this definition. It also presents and discusses various strategies to deal with legal dilemmas once they have arisen. Since the concept of a legal dilemma is a stipulative concept, the entry concludes by justifying the concept’s existence and by identifying the merits of dilemmatic legal thinking.

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