In the textbooks it is customary to find a chapter entitled ‘international law and national law’. In university courses on general international law, the lecture on international law and national law is invariably the very first of the year. I always give this lecture as the very last of the year, believing that it is quite unintelligible to students on their first day, and will remain so until they have covered the substantive ground that will give them their bearings in the debates on international and national law. At the heart of any chapter on international...
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