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When the Law Breaker Becomes the Law Maker

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Chapter Summary

Dr.Byers suggests the change of law formed by the community of States allows the powerful among us to create or vary rules of international law to suit their purposes without reference to rest of the community. This paper identifies the difficulties with the evidence and arguments in support of these changes. The starting point for discussion of whether changes to customary international law have occurred is the basis upon which rules of law are created in the international sphere. International law academics have long debated whether 'practice' includes statements or only acts. Byers has suggested that the time for a rule of customary international law to form is shortened. The psychological element of customary international law is no less controversial than State practice. The chapter concludes that the question of a change in the way rules are created and changed as raised by Byers becomes an academic one.

Keywords: customary international law; Dr.Byers; law breaker; law maker



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