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Introduction to public international law

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to public international law"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to public international law

2 International law State A International law: treaties, customary law
State B European law: ECT, directives, regulations National legislation Bylaws, regulations, ordinances

3 Art.38 ICJ Statute “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 law; c. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations; d. … 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.”

4 Public international law
System of rules and principles that govern the relationship between States and other subjects of international law (e.g. the United Nations or the European Community) Primary sources: treaties and customary law Subsidiary means Soft law: contributes to the formation of customary law as well as provide evidence of opinio juris

5 Treaties Agreements between States (and other entities under international law) bind the participating Parties Conventions, pacts, protocols, covenants etc Trade, diplomacy, postal services, transboundary emissions, the use of outer space, war, global environment, control and jurisdiction over territory, human rights, international crimes etc No hierarchy between different international treaties – except the Charter of the United Nations (Constitution of the international community?) Treaty interpretation through different means including the intention of the parties at the time the treaty was concluded and the subsequent practice of the parties in its application Conflicts may be addressed in the treaties or subject to Vienna Convention rules

6 Customary law Customary international law is derived from the consistent practice of States accompanied by opinio juris - the conviction of States that this practice is required by a legal obligation. In addition to state behaviour, judgments of international courts and academic research are traditionally used as persuasive sources for evidencing customary international law.

7 Treaty & customary law Customary and treaty law are complementary
Treaties regularly contain codifications of customary law while subsequent State practice can develop the provision of a treaty further Treaties and the practice of States may also lead to the creation of new rules of customary law What constitutes applicable international law is however often a question of interpretation…

8 Law & practice Art.94 para.1 UNCLOS (Duties of the flag State)
“Every State shall effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag.” Art.27 para.3 UN Charter: “Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members;…”. Prohibition of force (Art.2 para.4 UN Charter) unless - UN Chapter VII enforcement measures, - Self defence or - Humanitarian intervention? (US doctrine)

9 Compliance Treaty monitoring and compliance
Security Council to protect peace and security Jurisdiction of international courts and tribunal Peer pressure, certainty in international relations and reputation Investment and donor support

10 Areas of the law Branches or Fields of Public International Law 10
International Human Rights Law (IHRL) International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (Law of Armed Conflict) International Criminal Law International Environmental Law International Economic/Monetary Law International Maritime Law International Law of the Sea International Trade Law International Labour Law International Law relating to Space International Refugee Law International Law relating to disarmament International Law of Public International Organizations/ Institutions 10

11 International & domestic law
Monism – Dualism – Nihilism International law > domestic law Formation and interpretation of domestic law Use of international law by courts Human rights instruments - application pre ratification - avenues for redress Creation of processes and institutions: Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research to implement Ethiopia’s obligation to the Convention of Biological Diversity; designation of Wetlands etc.

12 Domestic relevance Direct impact on people’s lives (Security Council resolutions, CDM) Relevance for the development of domestic legislation, jurisprudence, admin procedures Reference for sustainable development and good governance Campaigning tool Involvement of civil society in development, implementation and compliance monitoring compliance

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