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International law: history and definition

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The history of international law.
    1. The promises of international law since the antiquity from Middle Ages.
    2. Peace of Westphalia and the modern state: The development of international law.
    3. Conflicts, wars and new issues in 20th century: The outcome of international law in a global world.
  3. What is international law?
    1. Purposes of international law.
    2. Sources and principles of international law.
    3. Subjects.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

?Truth is that international law is neither a myth on the one hand, nor a panacea on the other, but just one institution among others which we can use for building of a better international order? (J. Brierly, The law of nations, Oxford 1995). Law is a system of rules that is kept and enforced through a set of institutions (wikipedia.en, definition of Robertson). So international law is such a system but at an international level. The notion of "international law" is about several kinds of law. There is the private international law also called the conflict of laws, which deals with conflicts in private law but at international level, for instance when there is a problem to define which domestic law must be applied in some cases, often about economy and trade. The international law is also, and overall, the public international law and the law of supranational organizations, we often talk about ?transnational law? for both.

[...] We owe Romans the use of treaties in international relations and the principle of ?pacta sunt servanda? put forward by the Vienna Convention about treaties in 1969. They developed jus gentium, meaning the law of foreigners. The roman legacy for the law in European countries represents also an influence on international law because we use our law and our values to build an international law. It is interesting to notice that, even the Bible thought about the relations between states and the way to organize it. [...]


[...] We have just seen years of History in order to analyse the appearance and the development of an international law. Because the states are more and more in relationships each with others, the international law has an increasing importance in lots of fields. We are going to try to define what international is law beyond the definition seen in introduction. To define international law is explain its purposes, sources, the way it is applied, who are concerned by international law and about what kind of causes. [...]


[...] Subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teaching of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law This provision shall not prejudice the power of the Court to decide case ex aequo et bono, if parties agree thereto.? So, the sources of international law are the international treaties, the custom and the general principles of law. What are these general principles? Most of them derive from old practices as we saw it in the first part about history. [...]

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