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Part IV Stability and Change in International Law, Ch.XIII

From: The Function of Law in the International Community

Hersch Lauterpacht

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 September 2020

In any discussion on the place of the doctrine rebus sic stantibus as a principle of change capable of judicial application it is essential to keep in mind the distinction between two fundamentally different aspects of the doctrine. It is in the first instance a pseudo-legal assertion of the absence of any binding force in international law. It is the expression of the view that the rule pacta sunt servanda does not apply to States with the same cogency as it applies to individuals, for the simple reason that they are States, and that their interests cannot be...
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