International Law

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Chapter-1 DEFINITION AND CONCEPT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 1. Definition: International Law or the law of Nations as it was called, have been given many definitions. The understanding and the definition changed with the development of time. Here is the small effort to carve out certain important definitions as given by certain very famous scholars of their times. Oppenheim “Law of Nations or International Law is the name for the body of customary and treaty rules which are considered as binding by the state in their intercourse with each other.” There are three main elements present in this definition— 1) Body of rules governing the relation between the states. 2) States regard them binding in their relation with each other. 3) Rules are derived from customs and Treaties. Criticism 1. This traditional definition of International law given by Oppenheim does not take into consideration International Organization and Institutions. 2. Individuals are also not recognized as the subject of International law. 3. Customs and Treaties are not the only sources of International law. There are other sources too. 4. International law is not static as given in this definition ( body of rules) as law is an ever changing concept. 5. MNC’s are also excluded from this definition.

Sir Robert Jennings and Sir Arthur Watt revised this definition of International law as— “International Law is the body of rules which are legally binding on states in their intercourse with each other. These rules are primarily those which govern the relations of the states, but states are not the only subject matter of international law. International Organization and to some extent; also individuals may be subject of rights conferred and duties imposed by international law. Starke “ International law is that body of law which is composed for its greater part of the principles and rules of conduct which states feel themselves bound to observe, and therefore do commonly observe in their relation with each

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