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Abstract

In the last century, international law expanded to new domains that had traditionally fallen under exclusive governmental authority-such as human rights, environmental law, nonproliferation law, trade law, etc. This expansion of international rules coalesced into transnational legal fields, which not only include norms, rules, and procedures, but also monitoring systems designed to ensure compliance by member states and private actors. By assuming that all levels of a legal regime (from norms to rules and procedures, and then to monitoring systems and sanctioning mechanisms in case of observed violations) function in a harmonious and complementary way-as the apparatus of international law is supposed to-, some international law scholars may be tempted to avoid spending time analyzing the technical operations of monitoring agencies. The perusal of inspection and compliance manuals is less rewarding and more taxing than the analysis of preambles of treaties and conventions, where norms of good conduct, allocation of rights, and formal authority between institutions are usually delineated.

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