Sources of International Law

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Nuclear Weapons and International Law: The Impact of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

With Honduras being the 50th state to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on the 24th of October 2020, the 90 day countdown has begun for the treaty to come into force. Honduras also happened to ratify the treaty on UN Day, and not just any UN day, but the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. That means the TPNW will come into force on 22 January 2021. Maybe it will be an omen of 2021 being less of a bonfire than 2020. In the face of the perceived general trend away from multilateralism, this multilateral treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement for any the prohibited activities for State Parties. It is a major step in the banning of nuclear weapons – by actually banning them. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was supposed to lead to eventual disarmament, but after 50 years there is growing discontent with…

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On the ILC, professional background, gender and positivism: A Rejoinder to Jan Klabbers

In “Codification by Interpretation”: The International Law Commission as an Interpreter of International Law, I argue that the United Nations (‘UN’) International Law Commission (‘ILC’) interprets international law; interpretation falls squarely within the ILC’s mandate; the ILC’s interpretative pronouncements can trigger an interpretative dialogue with States whose reactions can lead to ‘authoritative interpretations’; and ‘codification by interpretation’,…

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Concluding Rejoinder: The Art of International Law and Altruism of International Lawyers

In the introductory essay, I sought to apply The Art of Law in the International Community as a response not only to military force and other ills, but to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four colleagues have contributed on how they believe the book works and could work better. They have done so at a time of extraordinary challenge and…

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The Art of International Law-Making: Musings on The Art of Law in the International Community

The new book of Mary-Ellen O’Connell, The Art of Law in the International Community, has a number of merits. One merit is to have placed extra-positive approaches to law-making back at the centre of the stage. A second merit is to consider their role to explain the rise of two pillars of contemporary international law, namely the…

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Quo Vadis? The Future of International Dispute Settlement through the Art of Law in the International Community

Reading Professor O'Connell's latest opus, The Art of Law in the International Community, one cannot help but see its (deliberate or unintended?) twinning with Hersch Lauterpacht's The Function of Law in the International Community. O'Connell argues for a reimagination of modern international law through three propositions, which respond to and further engage Lauterpacht's  limitations on the…

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