PSC 124.200: International RelationsHans Peter Schmitz, Spring 2008International lawDefinitionInternational law (IL) regulates the legal relationships among states. It treats all states as equals and it can only be created by states. Public international law regulates states. Private international law regulates non-state entities.Sources of ILArt. 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) identifies the following sources of IL: 1. international conventions (treaties), 2. international custom, 3. general principles of law, 4. judicial decisions and teaching. International conventions (treaties)Main source of international law: States express explicit consent. Signature: signifies the intent of a state to adhere to the treaty obligations. States bind themselves to internationally comply with the treaty. This act is usually the prerogative of the executive. Ratification: signifies the domestic implementationof treaty content. Treaty ratification is usually the prerogative of the legislative body (U.S.: two-third majority of the Senate).
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