See Article History Alternative Titles: law of nations, public international law International law, also called public international law or law of nations, the body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized as international actors. The term was coined by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham — Jeremy Bentham, detail of an oil painting by H. It is a mark of how far international law has evolved that this original definition omits individuals and international organizations —two of the most dynamic and vital elements of modern international law.
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A State voting in favour of such a resolution must pe regarded as accepting that the resolution is declaratory of customary law, Jn. A State which abstains is probably in the same position as a State which votes for the resolution, since it is well established that a State. A resolution cannot be regarded as declaratory of customary law if it is not phrased in declaratory terms..
However, in areas where customary law is un- certain, or viewed by States with dissatisfaction for one reason or another, there is. It is significant that authors who refuse t.
Besides, there is no clear dividing line between statements C ncerning the content of customary law made by States in abstracto. See, e. J RepoJtr, , pp. The problems are the same, regardless of the kind of State practice including assertions about the content of customary law made by States in abstracto which one is considering; and the solutions to these problems also tend to be the same Moreover, there is an important advantage to be gained by regarding state- ments in abstracto as creative of customary law It is often supposed that the only way to change a customary rule is to break it frequently.
There is no doubt that customary rules can be changed in this way, but the process is hardly one to be recommended by anyone who wishes to strengthen the rule of law in international relations Fortunately there is a way out of the dilemma; as an alternative to changing customary law by breaking it, States can change it by repeatedly declaring that the old rule no longer exists-a much more desirable way of changing the law National laws and judgments Extreme supporters of the theory that custom constitutes an implied agree- ment between States, such as Strupp, argued at one time that the only relevant State practice is the practice of organs which are competent to make treaties in the name of the State 1 One effect of this theory would be to exclude con- sideration of national laws as State practice..
See also the equivocal remarks of Judge Altamira on p. R 23 , pp , Italy.. The Scotia , 14 Wallace Reports, , pp 4, 22 See also the invocation of nationality Jaws in the Panevezys-.
Saldutiskis Railway case: Marek, op. J Reports, , pp. This may not matter much if one regards judicial decisions as a separate source of international law in their own right, but many international lawyers including Strupp himself do not regard judicial decisions as a separate source of international law.
Writers like Strupp thus force themselves into the impossible position of trying to study a subject like belligerent rights at sea, while closing their eyes to the judgments of national prize courts. J It includes not only the types of act or statement which have been discussed in the preceding pages, but also other types of act or statement, such as standing or ad hoc in- structions by a State to its officials, or criticisms by one State of the conduct of other States,4 or treaties including treaties which have not entered into force s It can also include omissions and silence on the part of States.
In the Lotus case the Permanent Court held that the absence of prosecutions did not prove the existence of a rule of customary law, but only because the omission had not been accompanied by opinio juris; there is a clear inference that omissions accompanied by opinio juris can give rise to a rule of customary law..
Tunkin, Theory of International Law , pp. This is an ambiguous phrase It can mean either that the act or statement is State practice, or that it is indirect or secondary evidence of State practice, in the same way that the views of writers are indirect or secondary evidence of State practice, Judges have often emphasized that writers record and interpret custom, but do not create it e.
Keyn , 2 Ex. A similar distinction is not made between different types of acts or statements by States with a few exceptions, already mentioned-see above, pp. C J Reports, , pp 4, 22 italics added. T unkin, Theory of International Law , pp I r7; and see below, pp. It would seem,. J:epr:esentatives of States, such as the United Nations Secretariat, can also mles of customary law In the Genocide case, both the judges in the..
Nor must one overlook the legal opinions of the United Nations Secretariat. It is less certain whether the practice of private individuals can create rules of customary law. Reports, I, p. IS, at pp. I I97o , pp. Most writers insist on repetition, 1.
Akehurst's Modern Introduction To International Law
Recensioner i media Orakhelashvili has done a tremendous job in updating a seminal textbook on international law. Christian Henderson, Professor of International Law, University of Sussex, United Kingdom First published in , Akehurst is a classic textbook that has introduced generations of students to the study of international law. In this new edition, Orakhelashvili brings it fully up to date while preserving its distinctly clear and insightful treatment of both doctrinal and theoretical questions. An essential companion for every serious student of international law. Umut OEzsu, Assistant Professor, Carleton University, Canada For half a century Akehurst has stood out among introductions to international law for its readability and comprehensiveness, and its insightful analysis. Few scholars are better placed than Alexander Orakhelashvili to bring this classic text right up to date, and the resulting work will be an essential reference point for everyone in the field.
Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law (8th ed.) Published
Michael Barton Akehurst