This book provides a critical introduction to the concepts, principles and rules of international law through a consideration of contemporary international events. It provides ways of considering the relevance of international law to particular disputes and also an appreciation of both the possibilities and limitations of legal method in international disputes. This in turn necessitates an examination of the relationship between international law and power. Thus rather than studying international law as a system of rules that purports to govern, or at least constrain, the international community, this book considers the actual effects of international law upon international disagreements.
Such an approach will be sceptical rather than cynical, intending to provide the means by which the role of international law may be evaluated. This entails discussion of the legal quality of international law; of the relationship between the academic disciplines of international law and international relations; of the apparent 'Eurocentricity' of international law, and of the relationship between political power and the ability to use or abuse (or ignore) international law.
Underlying the book is the assertion that international law is political in content (in the sense of being concerned with the exercise of power) but that it draws much of its effectiveness from its self-portrayal as being apolitical, or at least politically neutral.
Wade Mansell is Professor of International Law at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Karen Openshaw holds a PhD in Public International Law from the University of Kent, as well as a Post-graduate diploma in international law and international relations. Previously, she practised as a solicitor for a number of years.
Introduction I. International Law and Domestic Law II. Paradoxes in the Contemporary World III. Law and Power IV. The Structure of the Book 1. The Distinctive Nature of International Law I. What is International Law? II. How International Law Differs from Domestic Law III. The Changing Nature of International Law IV. International Law and Common Sense V. What Makes International Law 'Law'? VI. Why is it Necessary to Identify the Sources of International Law? 2. The Dynamic Quality of International Law I. Introduction II. The Concept of Sovereignty and Sovereign Equality III. The Concept of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction IV. Sovereignty and Controversial Bases of International Jurisdiction V. Sovereign Equality and the Concept of Universal Jurisdiction VI. Legal Personality in International Law VII. The Place of the Individual in International Law VIII. The Individual in International Law as Exemplified by the European Convention on Human Rights IX. The Interrelationship between Sovereignty, Personality and the Individual in International Law 3. Self-determination and Territory in International Law I. Introduction II. The Concept of Self-determination in International Law before the Creation of the United Nations III. The United Nations Charter, Self-determination and Decolonisation IV. Self-determination after the Cold War V. States, Territory and Recognition VI. Territorial and Other Rights Over the Sea and its Bed VII. Conclusion 4. The International Obligations of States: Treaties and State Responsibility I. Introduction II. The Law of Treaties III. State Responsibility in International Law IV. Conclusion 5. The United Nations, the UN Charter and International Law I. Introduction II. The Origins of the UN III. The Structure of the UN IV. How the UN is Financed V. The UN Charter: A Constitution for the World? 6. Human Rights in International Law I. Introduction II. What are Human Rights? III. The Politics of Human Rights IV. The International Bill of Human Rights V. Other Principal UN Human Rights Conventions and Bodies VI. Regional Protection of Human Rights VII. The International Criminal Court VIII. Conclusion 7. The Peaceful Settlement of Disputes in International Law I. Introduction II. Legal Method and International Dispute Resolution III. The International Court of Justice IV. International Arbitration V. Conclusion 8. Use of Force in International Law I. Introduction II. The Use of Force in International Law before the Creation of the UN III. The Charter of the UN IV. Chapter VII of the UN Charter V. Self-defence in International Law VI. From Humanitarian Intervention to Responsibility to Protect VII. Rules Constraining the Type of Force Permissible VIII. Conclusion 9. The Misery and Grandeur of International Law I. Introduction II. The Paradox of Sovereign Equality III. The United States of America and International Law IV. The Case of Israel and International Law V. Conclusion