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Professor Cançado Trindade develops his Leitmotiv of identification of a corpus juris increasingly oriented to the fulfillment of the needs and aspirations of human beings, of peoples and of humankind as a whole. With the overcoming of the purely inter-State dimension of the discipline of the past, international legal personality has expanded, so as to encompass nowadays, besides States and international organizations, also peoples, individuals and humankind as subjects of International Law. The growing consciousness of the need to pursue universally-shared values has brought about a fundamental change in the outlook of International Law in the last decades, drawing closer attention to its foundations and, parallel to its formal sources, to its material source (the universal juridical conscience). He examines the conceptual constructions of this new International Law and identifies basic considerations of humanity permeating its whole corpus juris, disclosing the current processes of its humanization and universalization. Finally, he addresses the construction of the international rule of law, acknowledging the need and quest for international compulsory jurisdiction, in the move towards a new jus gentium, the International Law for humankind.
This volume is an updated and revised version of the General Course on Public International Law delivered by the Author at The Hague Academy of International Law in 2005. Professor Cançado Trindade, Doctor honoris causa of seven Latin American Universities in distinct countries, was for many years Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and President of that Court for half a decade (1999-2004). He is currently Judge of the International Court of Justice; he is also Member of the Curatorium of The Hague Academy of International Law, as well as of the Institut de Droit International, and of the Brazilian Academy of Juridical Letters.