1 In the dominant positivist understanding of international law (Legal Positivism), the consent of States plays a pivotal role in generating legal obligation (State). As the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) put it in a much-quoted passage in the ‘Lotus’ Case ([France v Turkey] PCIJ Series A No 10, 18; Lotus, The), because States are sovereign equals (Sovereignty; States, Sovereign Equality), the rules that bind them must ‘emanate from their own free will’. If this proposition were taken to its full conclusion, States would have international...
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