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Concepts In

International Law
Sovereign = ruler King, Queen, Prince
Supreme power over subjects in her state
International sovereignty
Rights unhampered by outside influences
E.g. trade agreements
Recognizes that independent states are free to
enter into relationships with other states

Shift away from notion that individual states
should be free from external influence
Globalizations has led to erosion of sovereignty
Move motivated by specific need
Human rights
When a criminal flees to another country,
the main remedy is extradition
Extradition-- The legal surrender or delivery
of a fugitive to the jurisdiction of another
state, country or government to face trial
Extradition treaties contain principles and
Double criminality rule- a crime must be a crime
in both nations
Reciprocity- country A will return the favour in the
future to country B
Specialty- accused will only be charged with the
crime that is specified in the request for

Diplomatic Immunity
Diplomatic corps consist of staffs of trained
individuals who assist in implementing their
countrys policies in foreign countries
Ambassador- career civil servants
Attache- carry out specific roles related to trade or

Diplomatic Immunity
Vienna Convention
Lays out laws and specific means by which
people are protected under the shield of
diplomatic immunity
Diplomats are shielded from the laws of the host
country in which they reside
Embassy and grounds are treated as if they
belong to the host country they reside
Embassy staff cannot be charged with a crime
Sources of
International Law
What Is International Law?
A rule that has been accepted as such by
the International community

Customary Practices
Countries may follow, in the absence of any
formal written agreements, to engage in
practices they feel ethically bound to follow
Eg. Diplomatic immunity principle was followed
long before it was codified

Formal Agreements
Most common means of establishing rule
internationally is through formal

Formal Agreement
Treaties typically deal with obligations that
will be imposed on signing countries
Treaties might deal with political actions (eg.
declaration of war and peace or creation of
formal alliances)
Treaties may also govern areas such as trade,
commerce and natural resources
General Principle
Article 38 of the Statute of the International
Court of Justice list general principles of
law recognized by civilized nations
These principles provide a mechanism for
addressing international issues
Article 38
The Statute of the International Court of Justice,
part of the Charter of the United Nations, defines the
sources of international law in the following
Article 38. (1) The Court, whose function is to decide in
accordance with international law such disputes as are
submitted to it, shall apply:
(a) international conventions, whether general or particular,
rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
(b) international custom, as evidence of a general practice
accepted as law;
(c) the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
(d) subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the
teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various
nations, as
subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law,

Judicial Decisions and Teachings
Decisions made by the International Court
of Justice and domestic courts are
considered to be of persuasive value
Means these decisions can be consulted but
they have no binding force