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Sources of International Law

Customary law and conventional law are primary sources of international law. Customary international law results when states follow certain practices generally and consistently out of a sense of legal obligation. Recently the customary law was codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Conventional international law derives from international agreements and may take any form that the contracting parties agree upon. Agreements may be made in respect to any matter except to the extent that the agreement conflicts with the rules of international law incorporating basic standards of international conduct or the obligations of a member state under the Charter of the United Nations. International agreements create law for the parties of the agreement. They may also lead to the creation of customary international law when they are intended for adherence generally and are in fact widely accepted. Customary law and law made by international agreement have equal authority as international law. Parties may assign higher priority to one of the sources by agreement. However, some rules of international law are recognized by international community as peremptory, permitting no derogation. Such rules can be changed or modified only by a subsequent peremptory norm of international law.

General principles common to systems of national law is a secondary source of international law. There are situations where neither conventional nor customary international law can be applicable. In this case a general principle may be invoked as a rule of international law because it is a general principle common to the major legal systems of the world and not inappropriate for international claims.


Answer the following questions:

1. What are the basic concepts of law in national legal systems?

2. What is International Law based upon?

3. What are the major fields of International Law?

4. What are the primary sources of International Law?

5. What is Customary International Law?

6. What does Conventional International Law include?

7. When does peremptory take place?

8. What are the secondary sources of International Law?

9. What are international claims?



Date: 2015-01-12; view: 1439

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