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The English Legal System

The English Legal System (7th edn)

Alisdair Gillespie and Siobhan Weare
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date: 29 March 2023

p. 964. International Sources of Lawlocked

p. 964. International Sources of Lawlocked

  • Alisdair A. GillespieAlisdair A. GillespieHead of Department and Professor of Law, Lancaster University
  •  and Siobhan WeareSiobhan WeareLecturer in Law, Lancaster University


This chapter discusses international sources of law. Conventions and treaties are the primary sources of international law. International law also relies on custom, that is to say informal rules that have been commonly agreed over a period of time. The United Kingdom joined the (then) European Economic Community (EEC) in 1972. As part of the conditions for joining, the UK agreed that EEC (now EU) law would become automatically part of the law of the United Kingdom. The principal treaties governing the EU are the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union. Disputes are adjudicated by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Although the UK voted to leave the EU, it is not known when this will happen, meaning EU law will remain part of UK law for the time being.

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