• April 6th, 2016

International Law Research Essay

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Essay Question
The sources of International Law have been criticized by various scholars on the basis that
they are not truly sources of law. Fitzmaurice, in his article ‘Some Problems Regarding the
Formal Sources of International Law’ (1958) Symbolae Verzijl 153, asserts that treaties are a
source of obligation rather than a source of law. Dunbar, in his article ‘The Myth of
Customary International Law’ (1983) 8 Australian Yearbook of International Law 1, claims
that customary international law does not exist. Guggenheim and Tunkin, amongst others,
state that the source ‘general principles of law’ adds nothing to what is already included in
treaties and customary law. Judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified
publicists are said to represent evidence of the law, rather than sources of the law. Are any
or all of these criticisms valid? If any of the sources of International Law can be impugned,
what implications does this have for the viability of International Law as a legal system?

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