Why Is Soft Law Really Law?

B.M.J. van Klink, W.J. Witteveen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific


A different, more sympathetic approach to the communicative style of legislation a communicative approach to legislation for short is developed in this article. Our main questions are: (i) what does the communicative style of legislation consist of? and (ii) under which, if any, conditions may it be used rightfully as well as effectively in legislation? Firstly, a description of this legislative technique in its different manifestations is given (section 2). Secondly, two phases of legislative communication are discussed separately, with a special focus on Dutch anti-discrimination law (section 3). Thirdly, several general conditions for using a communicative style of legislation are distinguished (section 4). Finally, we address the tantalizing question of whether soft law, in which this approach is assumed to result, is really law (section 5).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-140
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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