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International Law ConcentrateLaw Revision and Study Guide

International Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide (5th edn)

Ilias Bantekas and Efthymios Papastavridis
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date: 29 May 2024

p. 172. Sources of international lawlocked

p. 172. Sources of international lawlocked

  • Ilias Bantekas
  •  and Efthymios Papastavridis


This chapter examines the sources of international law, ie the norms of international law that give validity to all the other international legal norms. These are enumerated in Art 38 ICJ Statute. Although quite dated, this Article is still considered as enunciating an authoritative list of the sources of international law. These are treaties; custom; general principles of law recognized by States; judicial decisions; and international theory as subsidiary sources. Particular emphasis is placed on custom, consisting of an objective element, the general practice of States, and a subjective element, the opinio juris, ie consisting of a legal conviction. There is no hierarchy between the sources of international law and both treaties and custom may exist alongside each other.

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