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IV General Principles of Law as a Source of Law

From: The Sources of International Law (2nd Edition)

Hugh Thirlway

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 September 2023

Subject(s):
Equity — Standards of treatment

This chapter begins with a discussion of the general principles of law under Article 38 of the Statute of the Permanent Court. It then covers the role of equity in international law and the general principles of law and non liquet. The general principles of law found their way into the Statute of the Permanent Court as a reserve source to provide a basis for decision in the event that neither relevant treaties nor customary law did so. A non liquet is a decision by a court or tribunal that the matter in dispute cannot be determined on the basis of law, inasmuch as the law has nothing to say on the question. A decision of this kind is different in nature from a decision that the law does not support the claim made, with the consequence that the respondent wins the case.

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