Questions Legal

What are the sources of international law?


Vanita Manohar

Professional Overthinker

International law defines itself as the body of rules recognized by nations and established by the custom as it is binding in a relationship with one another.  National legislation can only become international law when the treaties have received a confirmation for the federal jurisdiction to the super-national tribunals. The super-national tribunal includes the International Criminal Court or the European Court of Justice.

Sources of international law

The origins of international law are described in Article 38 of the International Court of Justice. The sources are as follows:

  • TREATIES: A treaty is to be interpreted in good faith in a manner conforming to the ordinary meaning in the context and consideration with its objects and purpose. It is found where there must be disputes about the exact meaning or some application of laws or customs. The domain of the supporter in an interpretation of the International Law by the consent of the parties or the treaties.

  • STATEHOOD AND RESPONSIBILITY: The international law is establishing a framework and criteria for identifying the states in the international legal system for being referred to as principal actors. It extensively deals with group rights, human rights, nationality problems, rights of refugees, treatment of aliens, etc.

  • JUDICIAL WRITINGS: The written documents or case studies that are given by international writers or advocates are published by highly qualified, and it becomes a part of the secondary source for confirmation of the International Law.

  • TERRITORY AND THE SEA: In the International Law different rules are accustomed to regions and the sea so that no dispute can arise in the case of transportation or import/export of goods etc.

  • GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LAW AS RECOGNISED BY CIVILISED NATIONS:  The scope of general principles is a very controversial issue, but it may compromise various municipal laws and the general legal principles. The importance of general principles has been decreased by the increase of the relation between the states as institutional, treaties, etc.

    Read more: What are the types of international law?

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