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8 Int'l Legal Theory 29 (2002)
The Curious Condition of Custom

handle is hein.journals/intlt8 and id is 35 raw text is: COMMENTS
The Curious Condition of
Jan Klabbers
University ofHelsinki
The point of the old story of the emperor and his
clothes is, no doubt, that pretentiousness will not go
unnoticed. With this in mind, Professor Onuma's
metaphor of the International Court of Justice as an
emperor without clothes is deeply misguided, for at
least two reasons. First, and foremost, because the ICJ
is not all that pretentious to begin with. It may be true,
as Professor Onuma states, that many international
lawyers regard the ICJ as an important agent in the
comprehensive global process,' although somehow I
doubt that this is indeed the case. But, even if many
lawyers overestimate the importance of the ICJ as a po-
litical actor, this is not necessarily due to any preten-
tiousness on the part of the ICJ.

Onuma Yasuaki, Is the International Court of Justice an Emperor with
out Clothes?, International Legal Theory, Vol. 8.1, p. 1.
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL THEORY. Volume 8 No. 1        [29]

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