The paper "Public International Law " is a perfect example of law coursework. Public International Law as defined in ALI Restatement 3rd, Section 101 is “ consists of rules and principles of general application dealing with the conduct of state and of international organizations and with their relations inter se, as well as with some of their relations with persons, whether natural or juridical” . It regulates the relations of states and other entities which have been granted an international personality. The term international law is used interchangeably with “ law of nations” .
The principal functions of International Law are: (1) to promote international peace and security; (2) foster friendly relations among nations and to discourage the use of force as a solution to their differences; (3) to provide for the orderly regulation of the conduct of states in their mutual dealings; and (4) to ensure international cooperation in the pursuit of certain common purposes of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character. Basically, the main divisions of International Law include: (1) the laws of peace which govern the normal relations of states and ceases when war breaks out; (2) when the war breaks out the laws of war regulate the actions of states for the duration of the hostilities; and (3) the laws of neutrality which regulates the states not involved in the war in their relations to the belligerents or those involved in the war.
During peace and war times, Human Rights law and the International Humanitarian Law protects the dignity and equality of persons. In addition, the International Humanitarian Law adheres to the implementation of the Geneva Conventions and The Hague Conventions which does not only protect civilians but also wounded soldiers in the battlefield and those who no longer take part in the hostilities.
The Hague Conventions, on the other hand, bans or limits the weapon used by warring states especially those which cause collateral damage. As suggested in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the sources of International Law is either primary or subsidiary. The primary sources include (1) International treaties and conventions; (2) International customs; and (3) General principles of law. Decisions of courts and teachings of publicists are considered subsidiary sources.
However, not every treaty or convention is a source of International Law. It can only be so if it is concluded by a sizable number of states for the purpose of confirming, establishing or abolishing a rule of international law. Bilateral treaties may also be considered as a primary source of international law if they are of the same nature, practically contains uniform provisions and are concluded by a sufficient number of states, although separately. An example of bilateral treaties is extradition treaties which, while only bilateral, are notable for their growing number and the similarity of their stipulations.
The following general principles of International Law have been accepted and are being observed by the majority of civilized states because of their intrinsic merit, these are: prescription, estoppel, res judicata, and pacta sunt servanda.