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Part I The Histories of the Sources of International Law, s.IV The History of Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, Ch.7 The History of Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice: ‘A Purely Platonic Discussion’?

Ole Spiermann

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Sources of International Law

Edited By: Jean d'Aspremont, Samantha Besson

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 September 2021

Subject(s):
World War I to World War II — Choice of law — General principles of international law

This chapter takes a look at Article 38 of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Statute. This article intends to define so-called sources or origins of international law to be used by the World Court. The text dates back to 1920, before the predecessor of the ICJ, i.e. the PCIJ, took up its activities. The chapter notes that since 1920, Article 38 has featured prominently in the theory on so-called sources of international law, while the provision has been of little relevance in the case law of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and its predecessor. Based mainly on historical records, the chapter seeks an explanation, which in turn may shed new light on sources theory.

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