Public International Law

Understanding the Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organisation. The Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on October 24, 1945.

The differences between international and supranational organizations

What are the differences between international and supranational organizations? A supranational organization is an administrative structure that goes beyond the boundaries of states. It differs from international organizations in the fact that within it, decisions are made by institutions specific to the organization, and not by meeting of heads of state or their representatives.

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).

Opinio juris sive necessitatis

In international law, opinio juris is the subjective element used to judge whether the practice of a state is due to a belief that it is legally obliged to do a particular act. When opinio juris exists and is consistent with nearly all state practice, customary international law emerges. Opinio juris essentially means that states must act in compliance with the norm not merely out of convenience, habit, coincidence, or political expediency, but rather out of a sense of legal obligation.

The Geneva Conventions

The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war. The singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Geneva Conventions have been ratified by all States and are universally applicable.

The Lotus principle

The Lotus principle or Lotus approach, usually considered a foundation of Public International Law, says that sovereign states may act in any way they wish so long as they do not contravene an explicit prohibition. The Lotus case concerns a criminal trial. A collision occurred on the high seas between a French vessel and a Turkish vessel. Victims were Turkish nationals and the alleged offender was French. Could Turkey exercise its jurisdiction over this French national under International Law?

The League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international organisation, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after the First World War to provide a forum for resolving international disputes. Founded on January 10, 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War, it was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

The Television Without Frontiers Directive

The Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF Directive) is the cornerstone of the European Union’s audiovisual policy. It rests on two basic principles: the free movement of European television programs within the internal market, and the requirement for TV channels to reserve, whenever possible, more than half of their transmission time for European works or “broadcasting quotas”.

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programs in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights.

Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations

The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations was adopted by the General Assembly on October 24, 1970, during a commemorative session to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.

Public International Space Law

Based on the mentioned basic space law principles, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty provided a legal framework whose enlargement was made possible by subsequent treaty texts. All these provisions form the corpus juris spatialis or the fundamental Public International Space Law governing space activities.

The San Remo Manual

The San Remo Manual was prepared at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s by a group of legal and naval experts participating in their personal capacity in a series of Round Tables convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. The purpose of the San Remo Manual is to provide a contemporary restatement of international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea.

The Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space

Launched in May 2016, the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) Project aims to develop a widely-accepted manual clarifying the fundamental rules applicable to the military use of outer space in peacetime.

The Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities

In our research on Space Law and resources, it is interesting in this new Space Legal Issues article to have a look at the (failed) Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities.

Article 51 of the UN Charter

Article 51 of the UN Charter provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defence, including collective self-defence, against an armed attack (including cyber-attacks). The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organisation.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration

The Permanent Court of Arbitration or PCA, established by treaty in 1899, is an intergovernmental organisation providing a variety of dispute resolution services to the international community. The PCA is an intergovernmental organisation located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The Tallinn Manual and Space Law

The Tallinn Manual (originally entitled the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare) is an academic, non-binding study on how International Law (in particular the jus ad bellum and international humanitarian law) applies to cyber conflicts and cyber warfare. What are its relationships with Space Law?

Estoppel in Public International Law

In Public International Law, the doctrine of estoppel protects legitimate expectations of States induced by the conduct of another State. The term stems from common and Anglo-American law, without being identical with the different forms found in domestic law. It is supported by the protection of good faith (bona fide) in the traditions of civil law.

The Sources of Public International Law

Public International Law, also known as “Law of Nations”, is the name of a body of rules which regulate the conduct of sovereign states in their relations with one another. Sources of Public International Law include treaties, international customs, general principles of law as recognised by civilized nations, the decisions of national and lower courts, and scholarly writings.

Flag state and Space Law

With space objects, like vessels, a central register of objects launched into outer space was established and is maintained by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The mandatory system of registering objects launched into outer space (for identification), like that of registering ships, contributes to the development of International Space Law governing the exploration and use of outer space. Let’s have a look at the similarities between the notion of flag state and Space Law.