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Sources and

Development of
International Law
Sources: - Dimensions of Law
- International Criminal Court

A reviewWhere does Law

come from?

are some of the normal sources of

domestic law?


a prediction: What are the sources of

International law?

1. Customary Practices

may follow/engage in practices

they feel ethically bound to follow (in the
absence of any formal written agreements)

Eg. Diplomatic immunity principle was followed

long before it was codified Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations1961


Law a common pattern that

has emerged over time to become binding

2. Formal Agreements

common means of establishing rule

internationally is through formal agreements

Treaties an agreement under international law

between states which cover what specific actions,
intentions, and consequences a country must
War, alliances, trade

Formal Agreement

Conventions An international agreement dealing

with a specific subject of international concern ex.
Geneva convention
Protocols less formal agreement that amends or
clarifies a treaty
Covenants International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights

General Principle

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 language:

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, establishing

rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
(b) international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as
(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,

3. Judicial Decisions and


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

Japans Whaling Practices

Conflict in the South China Sea China v. Philippines

Development of International

are many sources of law that the

international community relies on to
implement legal decisions, but how did those
sources develop over time?


are some of the factors/key events lead

to the international law we know today?

Your Turn!

In groups
What role have these organizations played in the
development of international law?
Despite successes and failures, how do these
structures maintain an international forum for law
and order?
What is the Legal Scope of the current
organizations? What power do/did they have?

Differentiate the ICJ from the ICC similarities/differences?

Mandates? Jurisdiction?


Treaty of Westphalia
The Geneva Conventions
The League of Nations
The United Nations
International Court of Justice (ICJ) include
International Criminal Court (ICC) include

1. Treaty of Westphalia

This treaty ended the 30 years War

Set up what it means to be a sovereign nation principles of

Not original ideas, but reinforced and solidified old ones

A states authority could be limited by other states the Holy

Roman Empires authority was limited by the Peace of

For peace to happen, nations had to undermine this authority and

become independent, sovereign nations

Nations must develop themselves, and contribute to the

global economic well-being

1. Treaty of Westphalia

Wasnt the end for the Empire, but marked the beginning
of its end in 1808 forced to seemingly accept
Protestantism even though it did not formally recognize it

No more was their a hierarchy of authority with God/Pope at the

top states developed their own and ruled in their own right

Confirmed right to reform added the rights to emigrate,

freedom of conscience/worship
Westphalia limited state sovereignty by guaranteeing
these rights to people
Forgive wrongs of the past, move forward with common

2. Geneva Conventions 1949

Intention of Geneva Conventions was to limit the

impact of wars on combatants and minimize the
damage for civilians 196 countries have signed
Essentially, this places limits on what a country can
do during war
The conventions cover:

Improvement for treatment of the wounded and sick

Improved care for the wounds/shipwrecked members of
the armed forces at sea
Parameters for the treatment of Prisoners of War
Parameters for the treatment of Civilian Persons

3. League of Nations


this short review of the LoN

your notes, record the following:

The purpose of the LoN, mandates
Its framework and organization
Decide on the LoNs successes and shortcomings
How did this organization affect our current
handling of international issues/law?

4. United Nations

your notes, record the following from

The mandate of the UN

The five main organs and the purpose/role of
FIVE things from the What we do section, with
examples for each.
FIVE things the UN does for youth, and
employment opportunities

United Nations Membership

over time

5. International Criminal Court

Became a permanent fixture of the UN with the adoption of the Rome

Statute - July 17, 1998 123 countries
Independent, permanent, and treaty-based
Established to prosecute most serious crimes for the international


Rome Statute -

What crimes are concerning enough that they need to be tried at the
international level?
What were some of the restrictions placed on criminal trials before the
creation of the ICC?
What were the Nuremburg and Tokyo Trials?
Why did the US not sign the Rome Statute? Has this position since

6. International Court of

The ICJ takes two types of cases:

1. Cases submitted by states to settle a legal dispute

2. To fulfill advisory requests on legal opinions (submitted by

Because states submit to the court, it is rare that decisions

are not implemented (This is also a mandate as a member
state of the UN to comply with judicial rulings.

Sources of Law the ICJ draws from: international treaties and conventions in
force; international custom; the general principles of law; and judicial decisions
and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists