LAST MINUTE NOTESPOLITICAL LAW AND PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW1. HARD LAW AND SOFT LAW; DISTINGUISHED.The term soft law is used to denote agreements, principles anddeclarations that are not legally binding. Soft law instruments are predominantly found in the international sphere. UNGeneral Assembly resolutions are an example of soft law. Hard law refers generally to legal obligations that are bindingon the parties involved and which can be legally enforced before a court. 2. SOFT LAWS ARE NOT INCLUDED AMONG THE AUTHORITATIVESOURCES OF INTERNATIONALLAW. Not includedamong the sources is what a growing literature refers to as “soft law.” Others prefer to call this category “non-treatyagreements.” They are international agreements not concluded as treaties and therefore not covered by the ViennaConvention on the Law of Treaties. Other sources of soft law are administrative rules which guide the practice of statesin relation to international organizations. These are mostly administrative proceduresthat are carried out with varyingdegrees of consistency and uniformity that may eventually ripen into customary law or become formalized later on intreaties.Soft law plays an important role in international relations because often states prefer non-treaty obligations as asimpler and more flexible foundation for their future relations. The difference lies mainly in the wish of the parties tomodel their relationship in a way that excludes the application of treaty or customary law on the consequences of abreach of obligations.3. DOCTRINE OF AUTO-LIMITATION; THE LIMITATION ON THE ABSOLUTENESS OF SOVEREIGNTY.Nothing is bettersettled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain.There is no portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount.Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction,both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of itssovereignty. It is to be admitted that any state may, by its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of itssovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. This is the conceptof sovereignty as auto-limitation. A state then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise isillimitable competence. (WILLIAM C. REAGAN, et. al., vs. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, G.R. No. L-26379,December 27, 1969).While sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level, it is howeversubject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines, expressly or impliedly, as a member of thefamily of nations. By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is bound by generally accepted principles of internationallaw, which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws.