The Perplexities of Modern International Law

The Perplexities of Modern International Law

The Perplexities of Modern International Law

The Perplexities of Modern International Law

Synopsis

This is a revised and updated version of the General Course on Public International Law delivered at the Hague Academy of International Law in the year 2001. The century just ended has seen the greatest transformation of human society in all of recorded history. With that, the pattern of international relations and international law based on the sovereign nation State and the Peace of Westphalia (1648) has also witnessed radical transformation. The whole system that existed one hundred years ago has been swept away in a series of bloody wars, revolutions and social upheavals (violent and non-violent), but the new system is not yet firmly established and in place. Every precedent , whether legal or other, must first be placed in its historical and temporal context before we can see if it is applicable in new circumstances and the historical evolution of any notion or concept is important for an understanding of its current implications. Through a close linkage between law and history, the author takes us through the evolution of international law to where it stands today.

Excerpt

This is a revised and updated version of the General Course in Public International Law which I delivered at the Hague Academy of International Law in the year 2001. That General Course was published in volume 291 of the Recueil des cours/Collected Courses of that Academy under the title The Perplexities of Modern International Law. The Curatorium has agreed that I could publish this new and revised edition. Apart from correction of minor typographical errors, the principal changes consist in the introduction of two sections in chapter VIII, on maritime spaces, namely sections 8.09 and 8.10, on the protection and preservation of the marine environment and on marine archaeology, one section in chapter IX, section 9.06 on the protection of the environment, and two sections in chapter XII, sections 12.10 and 12.11 on conferences and the international civil service. Those sections were included in my lectures and seminars, but for reasons of space had to be omitted from the original publication. I have also brought the material up to date, to the end of the year 2002. This is principally a matter for the adjustment of references in light of newly published primary sources. Otherwise the material is essentially as it was originally published.

With pleasure I acknowledge the valuable assistance that I received from Mr Jonathan Stanley, BA (Hons.) (Toronto), a London-based, free-lance legal researcher and media commentator on law, who has been persistent in ferreting out obscure and not so obscure books, papers and other documents that I required. I could not have completed these lectures without his assistance and most helpful critiques. My son Daniel helped me with the technical aspects of the section on cyberspace (§ 9.05). I also wish to thank others who helped me by responding to my repeated requests for material: Mr Alan Baker and the staff of the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the documents officer, Mr Richard Simmonds, of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York, and the librarians of the Hebrew University and National Library in Jerusalem, the Peace Palace Library . . .

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