POLS 1500 Lecture Notes - Pacta Sunt Servanda, Diplomatic Immunity, Northwest Passage

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October 9th, 2012 Domestic Law
Sources: National Constitution; statutes; government; regulations;
judicial decisions
Law enforcement agencies; courts
subjects: individuals; corporations
International Law
No global police force (Interpol?)
Subjects: ?
Sources; Treaty, custom, general principles, legal decisions and
opinions implantation ICJ, euro court of justice, ICC no police or
military enforcement subjects states
Two perspectives on international law
Natural Law:
rules handed down by god and church (divine law)
based on human capacity to reason about natural world
timeless and universal principles
community of mankind with shared rights and responsibilities
Legal Positivism:
19th century
source of law: states
what are the rules that states make for themselves? How do
states conduct their relations?
Eg. Agreements, customary practices
Skeptical about timeless and universal principles
Where does international law come from?
The court whose function is to decide in accordance with international
law such substitutes as are submitted to it, shall apply
International conventions
International Custom
General principles
Judicial decisions and opinions of experts
Treaty: an international agreement concluded between states in a
written form and governed by international law
Every state possesses capacity to conclude treaties
International Conventions
Bilateral versus multilateral treaties
Pacta sunt servanda: “every treaty in force is binding upon the parties
to it and must be performed by them in good faith
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