- Equity — General principles of international law — Sources of international law — Judicial decisions — Peremptory norms / ius cogens
This chapter offers some general points concerning the application of international law by a tribunal, and specifically by the International Court. Article 38 of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Statue in particular outlines instances of international law that the Court is meant to apply. The first is international conventions — whether general or particular, and establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states. Next is international custom, as well as the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations. And finally, the Court is subject to the provisions of Article 59, with judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law. The chapter also discusses other concepts in relation to the topic: the role of equity, certain humanitarian considerations, the concept of peremptory norms, and the principle jura novit curia (‘the court knows the law’).