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I General Principles and Sources of Law, Division B: Sources Of Law, Ch.IV: General Principles of Law Recognized by Civilized Nations

From: The Law and Procedure of the International Court of Justice: Fifty Years of Jurisprudence Volume II

Hugh Thirlway

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 January 2022

Subject(s):
International courts and tribunals, decisions — Standing — General principles of international law
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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