Codes and Notes on Public International Law

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CODES AND NOTES ON PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW by PORFERIO JR. and MELFA SALIDAGA

NOTES ON PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES Nature and Scope
Public International Law – It is the body of rules and principles that are recognized as legally binding and which govern the relations of states and other entities invested with international legal personality. Formerly known as “law of nations” coined by Jeremy Bentham in 1789.

Three Major Parts of Public International Law
1. Laws of Peace – normal relations between states in the absence of war. 2. Laws of War – relations between hostile or belligerent states during wartime.

3. Laws of Neutrality – relations between a non-participant state and a participant state during wartime. This also refers to the relations among non-participating states.

Sources of Public International Law
1. International conventions 2. International custom 3. The general principles of law recognized by civilized nations. prescription, pacta sunt servanda, and estoppel).

(e.g.

CODES AND NOTES ON PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW by PORFERIO JR. and MELFA SALIDAGA

Distinction of Public International Law with Municipal Law
Municipal Law Public International Law

1. Issued by a political superior for 1. Not imposed upon but simply observance by those under its adopted by states as a common rule of authority; action among themselves; 2. Consists mainly of enactments from 2. derived not from any particular the law-making authority of each state; legislation but from such sources as international customs, international conventions and the general principles of law; 3. Regulates the relations of 3. Applies to the relations inter se of individuals among themselves or with states and other international persons; their own states; 4. Violations are redressed through 4. Questions are resolved through local administrative and judicial state-to-state transactions ranging from processes; and, peaceful methods like negotiation and arbitration to the hostile arbitrament of force like reprisals and even war; and, 5. breaches generally entail only 5. responsibility of infractions is usually individual responsibility. collective in the sense that it attaches directly to the state and not to its nationals.

Public International Law in Relation to Municipal Law
In the paquete Habana, Justice Gray said: “the law of nations, although not specially adopted by the Constitution or any municipal act, is essentially a part of the law of the land.” Doctrine of Incorporation – the rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere. (Sec. of Justice v. Lantion GRN 139465, Jan. 18, 2000) This doctrine is followed in the Philippines as embodied in Art. II, Sec. 2 of the

CODES AND NOTES ON PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW by PORFERIO JR. and MELFA SALIDAGA

1987 Constitution which provides that: “The Philippines…adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land…” However, no primacy is implied. It should be presumed that municipal law is always enacted by each state with due regard for and never in defiance of the generally accepted principles of international law. (Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh). It is a settled principle of international law that a sovereign cannot be permitted to set up his own municipal law as a bar to a claim by foreign sovereign for a wrong done to the latter's subject. (US v Guatemala).

Constitution v. Treaty
Generally, the treaty is rejected in the local forum but is upheld by international tribunals as ademandable obligation of the signatories under the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Pacta Sunt Servanda – international agreements must be performed in Good Faith. A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties. A state which has contracted a valid international...
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