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Flashcards in International Law Deck (33)
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What is international law?

It is law made by states to govern inter state relations.


What is the fundamental rule of international law?

All states are sovereign


If all states are sovereign and equal, how does international law work?

There is more value to cooperating with other states than to break the bonds.
Short term gains ( invasion or breaking Int law) may outweigh the long term gain of string interstate relations


What are the key actors in International law?

United Nations
Other international organisations( aid facilitation of development of Int law)


What are the elements to determine what is a state?

A state should have:
Permanent population
Defined territory
The capacity to enter into inter state relations.


Which convention determined what was a state?

Montevideo convention on the rights and duties of states 1933.


What populations are not states?

Hong Kong


Does international law have a parliament and government?

No, there is no single legislative body or world government.
UN is nearest thing, but doesn't work like a domestic government.


When was the UN Charter ratified?

24th October 1945, currently has 193 member states


What are the UN purposes?

Maintain international peace and security

Promote sustainable development

Protect HR

Uphold INT LAW

Deliver humanitarian aid

By having a neutral ground, it provides guidance and allows int law and policies to be discussed


What are some international organisations?

WHO- regulates health issues
ILO- 1919, debates labour issues
The international committee of the Red Cross-humanitarian law
The International Monetary Fund


Is the EU considered a key actor in International law?

Yes, as it associates with 28 states that have international personality.


Is the commonwealth of nations a legal personality?

No, it is a voluntary relationship and is not legally binding


List some fields of international law?

Diplomatic relations
The law of treaties
The law of the sea
Economic law
Human right
Criminal law
Humanitarian law
Environmental law


What are the three sources of International law?

Customary international law
General principles of law


What is a treaty?

A written agreement between states and governed by international law

A treaty will normally be registered with the UN secretariat. The treaty outlines the obligations owed. If a breach happens the other states are allowed to exercise their power to rectify the breach.


What does pacta sunt servanda mean?

Agreements must be kept- linked to a state ratifiying a treaty.


Is the UDHR a treaty?

No, it was an expression of fundamental rights and values- however from this certain treaties arose such as the International Covenant on civil and political rights 1966.


What is a monist approach?

A state will automatically incorporate the ratified treaty into domestic law.


What is a dualist approach?

A ratified treaty must be incorporated into domestic law by legislation for it to be given effect. UK operates this system.


What is customary international law?

Customs and legal behaviours that have developed over time into practices among states


What must be shown to determine a customary international law is proven?

1) opinio juris-the belief that an action was carried out because it was a legal obligation.
2) state practice- must show state practice is consistent. E.g., enacting domestic law in line with customary law


Name a customary international law rule?

The prohibition of torture
Most states believe that torture is prohibited by law and they prohibit it.


What does the court have to consider following R v Jones ( Margaret) ( 2006) UKHL 16.?

It questioned whether the crime of aggression was part of uk law. House of Lords held it wasn't automatically incorporated.
1) are there bars to incorporation
2) is the law capable of being applied in U.K. Courts.


What is general principles of law?

Sometimes there is not a law created for certain issues so the court will deduce if there are general principles that fill the gaps in the legal system.


Which case established general principles as a formal source of international law?

The South West Africa Case( 1950) ICJ Rep 128


What is an example of general principles?

Good faith- states have to cooperate and have trust and confidence in each other.


What are secondary sources of international law?

Judicial decisions
Highly qualified teachings( articles and law books)


What is soft law and is it binding?

Refers to any instrument that contains principles, rules, standards or statements of expected behaviour to rules or regs that are not legally binding.

Non binding so non enforceable.


What happens if there is a breach or internal conflict of a state?

States give consent to have a claim brought against them before a disputed settlement body.
They can agree to a single disputes or blanket agreement to a particular disputed settlement mechanism.
The international court of justice will hear cases between states.
Can only offer opinions- not enforceable.