Nothing is as useless as a general maxim. Karl von Clausewitz It is worth recalling at the outset that general principles of law are treated in Article 38, paragraph I(c), of the Statute, as a distinct source of law, and a source to be resorted to as a last resort, when other sources fail. Thus what may be referred to in argument, or even in a decision of the Court, as a ‘general principle of law’ may prove on examination to be a principle established in customary law, or even a principle enshrined in a treaty regime, and deriving its force from the maxim pacta...
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