International cooperative law. Utopia, realistic utopia or reality?
The article explores the question whether national cooperative law makers are bound by international cooperative law. May states, because of their sovereignty, at all be bound by international law? May recommendations of international organizations in general and in particular the Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002, of the ILO (ILO R. 193) create such an obligation? Mainly based on the arguments of the democratic legitimacy of this recommendation and its character as an “auxiliary” instrument to fulfill legally binding obligations as concerns sustainable development, the article concludes that the ILO R. 193 creates such an obligation. Because of the principle of diversity as a source of sustainable development, it is important, however, to limit this obligation to the translation of the universally agreed upon cooperative principles into legal rules, as indicated specifically by Paragraph 10 of the ILO R. 193.