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Analysis of International Law

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Analysis of International Law

International law is the body of legal rules that apply

between sovereign states and such other entities as have been granted

international personality (status acknowledged by the international

community). The rules of international law are of a normative

character, that is, they prescribe towards conduct, and are

potentially designed for authoritative interpretation by an

international judicial authority and by being capable of enforcement

by the application of external sanctions. The International Court of

Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, which

succeeded the Permanent Court of International Justice after World

War II. Article 92 of the charter of the United Nations states:

The International Court of justice shall be the principal

judicial organ of the United nations. It shall function in accordance

with the annexed Statute, which is based upon the Statute of the

Permanent court of International Justice and forms an integral part of

the present Charter.

The commands of international law must be those that the

states impose upon themselves, as states must give consent to the

commands that they will follow. It is a direct expression of raison

d'etat, the "interests of the state", and aims to serve the state, as

well as protect the state by giving its rights and duties. This is

done through treaties and other consensual engagements which are

legally binding.

The case-law of the ICJ is an important aspect of the UN's

contribution to the development of international law. It's judgements

and advisory opinions permeates into the international legal community

not only through its decisions as such but through the wider

implications of its methodology and reasoning.

The successful resolution of the border dispute between

Burkina Faso and Mali in the 1986 Frontier Dispute case illustrates

the utility of judicial decision as a means of settlement in

territorial disputes. The case was submitted to a Chamber of the ICJ

pursuant to a special agreement concluded by the parties in 1983. In

December 1985, while written submissions were being prepared,

hostilities broke out in the disputed area. A cease-fire was agreed,

and the Chamber directed the continued observance of the cease-fire,

the withdrawal of troops within twenty days, and the avoidance of

actions tending to aggravate the dispute or prejudice its eventual

resolution. Both Presidents publicly welcomed the judgement and

indicated their intention to comply with it.

In the Fisheries Jurisdiction case (United Kingdom v. Iceland,

1974) the ICJ contributed to the firm establishment in law of the idea

that mankind needs to conserve the living resources of the sea and

must respect these resources. The Court observed:

It is one of the advances in maritime international law,

resulting from the intensification of fishing, that the former

laissez-faire treatment of the living resources of the sea in the high

seas has been replaced by a recognition of a duty to have due regard

of the rights of other States and the needs of conservation for the

benefit of all. Consequently, both parties have the obligation to keep

inder review the fishery resources in the disputed waters and to

examine together, in the light of scientific and other available

information, the measures required for the conservation and

development, and equitable exploitation, of these resources, taking

into account any international agreement in force between them, such

as the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Convention of 24 January 1959, as

well as such other agreements as may be reached in the matter in the

course of further negotiation.

The Court also held that the concept of preferential rights in

fisheries is not static. This is not to say that the preferential

rights of a coastal State in a special situation are a static concept,

in the sense that the degree of the coastal State's preference is to

be considered as for ever at some given moment. On the contrary, the

preferential rights are a function of the exceptional dependence of

such a coastal State on the fisheries in adjacent waters and may,

therefore, vary as the extent of that dependence changes. The Court's

judgement on this case contributes to the development of the law of

the sea by recognizing the concept of the preferential rights of a

coastal state in the fisheries of the adjacent waters, particularly if

that state is in a special situation with its population dependent on

those fisheries. Moreover, the Court proceeds further to recognise

that the law pertaining to ...

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Keywords: summary of international law, study of international law, review of international law and politics, review of international law, summary of international law and diplomacy, summary of international law and human rights, analysis of international legal practice, economic analysis of international law

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