Customary International Law

F. A. Mann

in Foreign Affairs in English Courts

Published in print August 1986 | ISBN: 9780198255642
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681615 | DOI:
Customary International Law

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If the status of customary international law corresponded to that of conventional international law (or treaties), the courts might, to some extent consider and have regard to it, but they could not apply or give effect to it as law except after incorporation by Act of Parliament. The application of customary international law is not dependent upon previous parliamentary sanction. No doctrine of transformation applies to customary international law. Such law is, however, dependent upon judicial sanction. This cannot be given and international law, therefore, cannot be applied where it would conflict with legal rules binding upon the court, whether they be statutory or judge-made. But where there is no such restraint, where the court is free to find and form the law, it may and probably must apply international law which in such a case becomes directly applicable and thus incorporated into and adopted by English law.

Keywords: customary international law; English law; English courts; Parliament

Chapter.  6439 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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