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"Almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all their obligations almost all of the time": Discuss

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  1. States will disregard law only if the advantages of violation outweigh the advantages of observance
  2. They generally states take a benefit in respecting them : moral benefit or fear of reprisal form the others states, in a context of economic interdependence
  3. Cooperation seems to be the most advantageous method, as Nations have common interest in keeping international law orderly
  4. The proportion of obligations which are followed is larger than those which are not
  5. The case in which no state has any interest in continuing to obey a treaty

"Almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all their obligations almost all of the time". This is the statement made by Louis Henkin, a prominent international lawyer and an influential scholar in the field of the international law, in his book entitled How Nations Behave (1979). Nations, or instead states, which is a more juridical term, are considered the main actors on the international scene. States are actually subjected to treaties, laws, and international laws and regulations. Generally speaking, the international law is defined by McKeever as one that "consists of rules and principles of general application dealing with the conduct of states and of intergovernmental organizations and with their relations inter se, as well as with some of their relations with persons, whether natural or juridical".

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