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Define the term international law

International law has been one of those area of law, where the judges and jurists widely differ even today. Positivists consider it as binding only with the consent of nations, while the Naturalists consider international law as a binding one.

Some of the notable definitions of International Law are as follows;

Kelson defined international law as the name of a body of rules which regulate the conduct of the States in their intercourse with one another.

Starke holds, international law is composed, for its greater part of the principles and rules of conduct which States themselves feel bound to observe, and, therefore, do commonly observe in their relations with each other, and which also includes:
  1. The rules of law relating to the functioning of international organizations or institutions, their relations with each other, and their relations with States and individuals; and
  2. Certain rules of law relating to individuals and non-State entities so far as the rights or duties of such individuals and non-State entities are the concern of international community.

Oppenheim opined that, the law of nations OR the term international law is the name for the body of customary and treaty rules which are considered legally binding by civilized states in their intercourse with each other.

According to Blackstone, the law of nations is a system of rules, deducible by natural reasons and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world; in order to decide all disputes, to regulate all ceremonies and civilities and to insure the observance of justice and good faith in that intercourse which must frequently occur between two or more independent States, and the individuals belonging to each of such States.


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