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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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The Sources of International Law

ISBN13: 9780199685400
Published: March 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £26.49
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780199685394

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The question of what is, and what is not, part of international law is fundamental in shaping its current form and its development. Traditionally, treaties between states and state practice were seen as the primary means with which to create international law.

However, the definition of what the sources of international law are, and how they operate, has been questioned in significant ways. Particularly this has been seen in the more recent developments in the notion of customary international law, which stands alongside international treaties and instruments as a key foundation upon which international law is built.

This book provides a key inquiry into all the recognised, or asserted, sources of international law. It investigates the impact of ethical principles on the creation of international law; whether 'soft law' norms come into being through the same sources as binding international law; and whether jus cogens norms, and those involving rights and obligations erga omnes have a unique place in the creation of international legal norms.

It studies the notion of 'general principles of international law' within international law's sub-disciplines, and the evolving relationship between treaty-based law and customary international law. Re-examining the traditional model, it investigates the increasing role of international jurisprudence, and looks at the nature of international organisations and non-state actors as potential new sources of international law.

The book provides a perfect introduction to the law of sources, as well as innovative perspectives on new developments, making it essential reading for anyone studying or working in international law.

Public International Law
1. The nature of international law and the concept of sources
2. The classic definition: Article 38 of the ICJ Statute and its background
3. Application of the classic definition to the production of exceptional norms peremptory norms (jus cogens), rights and obligations erga omnes, non-binding norms, "soft law"
4. Non-statutory sources
5. Specialised fields, including human rights, judicial procedure, in particular that of the ICJ, UN procedural law
6. Other possible contributors to law: international corporations, national courts
7. Conclusion