Sources of international law: the basis for regulating the relationship of states

Establishing rules of behavior is important not onlyamong people, but also between states, intergovernmental organizations and other subjects of international law. Such norms take the form of treaties, agreements, doctrine, judicial precedents, resolutions and recommendations united under the common name "sources of international law".

Essence and types

It should be clearly understood that the sourcesinternational law are always fixed decisions taken by states and intergovernmental organizations on a particular issue. These documents, as a rule, establish the rights and obligations of participants in international legal relations. But to accept them for execution or not, depends only on the side of the international legal relationship. The general procedure of adoption has acquired the name of ratification, and it is carried out only on a voluntary basis by the supreme governing bodies of the country.

Sources of international law are diverse in forms of expression, and, depending on this, two main sections are distinguished:

  1. basic sources are represented by internationaltreaties and international custom. The first are written expression of the will of the states in the field of regulation of a certain international legal relationship. The most striking example was the UN Charter. The second appears in the form of written consolidation of the historically established manner of behavior in certain international circumstances. It is worth noting that international custom always smoothly turns into an international treaty. This is because the custom "fills" the lack of contractual regulation;
  2. The auxiliary ones are an interpretationcorrect use of the main sources in a given situation. This category combines international legal doctrine, international judicial precedents, resolutions of intergovernmental organizations.

The main difference between these categories is thatfor failure to fulfill the obligation assumed by him, flowing from the main source, the offender is threatened with international sanctions against him. The second category is mainly recommendatory.

For a more detailed explanation of the nature and types of sources of international law, let us turn to two of its sub-sectors - economic and customs law.

Sources of International Economic Law

This sub-sector of law operates, basically,four types of sources: international treaties, international legal custom, decisions of international economic bodies and the domestic legislation of states.

Contracts as sources of internationaleconomic law (hereinafter - MEP), are divided into three categories - international, intergovernmental and interdepartmental. And if the first two categories are typical for all sub-sectors, then the latter is a sign of the economic side of mutual cooperation of states. This fact is explained by the specifics of the sub-sector. As a rule, all contracts are formed and concluded within the framework of such organizations as WTO, ILO, International Bank and IMF.

Despite the fact that the legal power of the legalthe custom stands on the same level as the contract, for the MEP it is the source of the formation of legal regulation. As a rule, this category ensures the functioning of not only the MEP, but also the majority of sub-sectors of private international law. Customs can exist by themselves, but can be fixed in international decisions or conventions.

Decisions of instances are a specific source,characteristic for MEP. As a rule, they also receive their consolidation in international treaties, but in them decisions of economic instances are given the features of the principles of the sub-sector under consideration.

Domestic legislation becomessource MEP only in the event that there is a dispute on a particular situation. It is taken into account as an auxiliary source, and, therefore, plays a secondary role.

Sources of International Customs Law

Specificity of this type of source isalong with the above-mentioned forms of expression of the right of unilateral acts and resolutions of international organizations (for example, WTO), as well as domestic legislation and customs precedents of international courts.

Sources of International Customs Laware based on the established practice of mutual relations of states in the field of customs regulation. And it is she who lies in the canvas of the created treaties and charters of international customs organizations.

Sources of international law are diverse. Their application in the regulation of relations depends not so much on the field of legal relationship, as on a particular case. Therefore, when resolving conflict situations, one should turn to all available sources taking into account their "vertical" of action.

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