General Principles of International Law

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General Principles of Law Formed Within the International Legal System?

Article 38(1)(c) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice provides that one of the sources of international law is the general principles of law. This source of international law has given rise to many controversies. However, the issue which is giving rise to the most controversy in the International Law Commission’s ongoing work on general principles of law is whether this source includes general principles of law formed within the international legal system. The present post seeks to address this controversy. It will first provide some basic background on the source of general principles of law, as well as on earlier controversy regarding its content. Attention will then shift to the controversy, in the context of the ILC’s work, regarding general principles of law formed within the international legal system. It will then proceed to argue that this category of general principles of law is difficult to sustain doctrinally, and it would hence be prudent for the ILC to omit recognition thereof.  …

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Open Letter to my Russian Friends: Ukraine is Not Crimea

In reaction to the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation, I had written that the use of Russian armed force against Ukraine is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of contemporary international law and can be qualified as an “aggression” (Le Monde, 14 March 2014). This applies all the more to the use of armed…

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Closing the Gaps: Pre-Deployment Role of the Military Legal Adviser

As US involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes to an end after twenty years, it is worth taking stock of how things stand in relation to the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). This law serves dual purposes: military necessity (which permits measures which are necessary to fulfil a legitimate military purpose provided they are…

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Living in the Shadow of Flawed Peace: How General International Law Is Implicated in the Trade War between Japan and South Korea

As the anniversary of V-J Day approaches, the legacy of World War II still casts a long shadow on its previous Pacific theatre.  Last month, an unprecedented quadripartite incident involving warplanes from, inter alia, Japan and South Korea played out in the territorial airspace of the contested Dokdo/Takeshima islands, disputed territory that was left unresolved in the…

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More on Public International Law and Infectious Diseases: Foundations of the Obligation to Report Epidemic Outbreaks

In his recent post on the 2018-2019 Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Villarreal inter alia mentions the connection between the International Health Regulations (IHR) and international human rights law, arguing that states' obligations under the IHR are to be read in conjunction with those under the International Covenant on Economic,…

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