• Law that deals with the conduct of States and international organizations, their relations with each other and, in certain circumstances, their relations with persons, natural or juridical (American Third Restatement).
Basis of International Law
1. Law of Nature School – based on rules of conduct discoverable by every individual in his own conscience and through application of right reasons.
2. Positivist School – agreement of sovereign states to be bound by it (express in conventional law, implied in customary law, and presumed in general principles).
3. Eclectic or Groatian School – a compromise between the first 2 schools and submits that international law is binding partly because it is good and right and partly because states agreed to be bound by it.
SOURCES OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW:
(Art.38 Statute of the ICJ)`
1. Primary –
a. international treaties and conventions;
(i) law-making treaty (traite-loi);
(ii) contract treaty (traite-contract).
e.g. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Hague Convention
b. international customs;
(i) Prevailing practice by a number of states;
(ii) repeated over a considerable period of time; and
(iii) attended by opinio juris or sense of legal obligation.
e.g. doctrine of state immunity, prohibition against slavery, principle of exterritoriality
c. general principles of law
(i) derived from the law of nature and are observed by the majority of states because they are believed to be good and just.
e.g. pacta sunt servanda, estoppel, prescription
2. Subsidiary –
a. judicial decisions;
b. writings of publicists; must be fair and unbiased representation on international law by acknowledged authorities in the field.
c. advisory opinions of the ICJ.
Constitution vs. Treaty
Generally, the treaty is rejected in the local forum but is upheld by international tribunals as a demandable obligation of the signatories under the maxim pacta sunt