Public International Law – Syllabus by Atty Rosal (with Answers)

Public International Law

Public International Law

1. International Law. Definition

1.1 Distinguished from private international law

  • Public international law or law of nations regulates political intercourse of nations with each other or concerns questions of rights between nations while private international or conflict of laws regulates the comity of states in giving effect in one to the municipal laws of another relating to private persons.

1.2 Distinguished from municipal law

  • In every state, there is legislature which enacts the law binding upon its citizens, an executive which enforces the law and judiciary which interprets the law.

1.3 Source of International law

  • The court, function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes
    • international conventions
    • international customs
    • general principles of law
    • writings of well-known publicists and scholars
  • ex aequo et bono – according to what is just and good, equity and conscience.

1.4 General Principle of Law

  • Commonly recognized by the major legal systems of the world.

1.5 Foundation of International Law

  • Mutuality / Reciprocity – relation between two or more states when each of them gives the subjects of the other certain privileges, on condition that its own subjects shall enjoy similar privileges at the hands of other state.
  • Principle of Comity of Nations – recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the acts of foreign governments and their tribunals, having due regard both to international duty and convenience and to the rights of its own citizens.

2. Statehood

2.1 Requirements of State

  • Majority school of thought
    • group of people – human beings who live together for common end and must be sufficiently numerous to assure continued existence as a collective body.
    • definite territory – space on earth occupied by the State to settle eventual disputes on jurisdiction.
    • government – instrument which the power in a State expresses its will and exercises its functions.
    • independence – freedom from external control in the conduct of one’s external and internal affairs
  • Minority view
    • possession of a sufficient degree of civilization – postulated on the ability of a territory to respect universally accepted principles of international law.
    • recognition by the Family of Nations – matter of political convenience and diplomatic discretion.

2.2 Acquisition of Territories

  • Discovery and Occupation
    • Lands which is considered terra nulius (stateless territory) can be occupied.
    • mere planting of flag or proclamation of sovereignty in area is not enough
    • continental shelf – part of the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas contigous to the coast, but outside the area of the maritime zone.
    • Mouth-of-the-river doctrine –
    • Hinterland doctrine
    • Right of contiguity
  • Prescription – demands prior ownership in another state and lapse of a reasonable period of time is a question of fact and can be ascertained from particular circumstances surrounding a case.
  • Cession – either voluntarily (by sale or donation) or involuntarily (by war)
  • Conquest and Subjugation – acquisition of the sovereignty of a country by force of arms, exercised by an independent power, which reduces the vanquished to the submission of its empire.
  • Accretion – process of attaching something to what an owner of territory already has.

2.3 Recognition of State and Government

  • Legal (or constitutive school) – as long as a political unit possesses all the elements needed for a State, other States are duty bound to recognize the former
  • Political (or declaratory school) – adherents of this view aver that even if a political unit seemingly possesses the ordinary constituent elements of a State, still foreign countries are at liberty to either grant or withhold such recognition.

One response to “Public International Law – Syllabus by Atty Rosal (with Answers)

  1. Pingback: Public International Law – MIDTERM EXAM | Legal Notes·

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