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International Law

Much of international law is consent-based governance. This means that a state member of the international community is not obliged to abide by this type of international law, unless it has expressly consented to a particular course of conduct. This is an issue of state sovereignty. However, other aspects of international law are not consent-based but still are obligatory upon state and non-state actors such as customary international law and peremptory norms.

The term "international law" can refer to three distinct legal disciplines:

Public international law, which governs the relationship between states and international entities; It includes these legal fields: treaty law, law of sea, international criminal law, the laws of war or international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Private international law or conflict of laws, which addresses the questions of (1) which jurisdiction may hear a case, and (2) the law concerning which jurisdiction applies to the issues in the case.

Supranational law or the law of supranational organizations, which concerns regional agreements where the laws of nation states may be held inapplicable when conflicting with a supranational legal system when that nation has a treaty obligation to a supranational collective.


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