International Law

Topics: Law, International law / Pages: 28 (6859 words) / Published: Feb 2nd, 2013
CHAPTER- 2 CLASSIFICATION OF SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 2.1. Classification of Sources of International law Source is found in the process by which it becomes identifiable as a rule of conduct with legal force and from which it derives legal validity. The various sources of international law are inferred from Article 38 of ICJ. Article 38 of ICJ states: The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply : A. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states; B. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law; C. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations; D. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law. This provision shall not prejudice the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo et bono, if the parties agree thereto. Article 38 is the recognized complete statement of sources of law. It does not refer to sources directly. Sources mentioned in clause (a) are not a primary source. It is a source of rules of general application, although treatise may provide evidence of formation of custom. Source in clauses (b) & (c) are formal sources and (d) refers to material sources. However some jurists do regard the last clause as formal source.1 Article 38 lacks the hierarchy of the sources mentioned and is an incomplete list of sources. It is purely descriptive in nature.2 1. Primary & Secondary Sources: Primary sources in relation to international law are the ones which have been present before any codification of the same has taken place. They are laws which exist but are not legally binding. Public international law has three primary sources: international treaties, customs and general principles of law. For example, laws of

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