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International Law .pdf

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Political Science
Political Science 2231E
Jessica Trisko

Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 International Law Different from domestic laws - Reflect the lack of a single sovereign authority or institution - No global legislative body to set laws - No universal judiciary Who is subject to International Law? - Individuals - Corporations - States and national institutions Two key sources of international law: - Customary Practices - Commonplace and widespread adherence to unwritten rules of conduct - Can be considered binding, even to those who have not consented - Treaties - Written and agreed-upon contracts to apply only to signatories - Need to be ratified domestically following harmonization of law Why do states obey International Law? - Law forms a framework for orderly conduct - Violation of law carries the possibility of sanctions or reprisals - Following law develops norms of reciprocity - Both domestic and international publics can hold states accountable Human Rights Law - Grounded in the doctrine of Natural Law - Certain actions are universally understood by virtue of innate human reason - What is wrong is wrong in every situation because it is governed by a higher (supernatural) law - The writings of St. Thomas Aquinas The doctrine of positives law hindered efforts to develop International Law - Rights can only originate from human actions - No law in the absence of a sovereign authority to enforce Evolution of Human Rights Law 1946 Nuremberg Trials focused on crimes against humanity - Emphasis on the
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