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Towards a New Universal International Law: an Asian Perspective

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Chapter Summary

There is a widespread assumption today that international law is equally applicable to all States. It is expected to make no distinction between States, east or west, north or south, rich or poor, developed or underdeveloped. By the end of the 18th century, under the current of positivism, there had developed a "provincial outlook" in Europe. International law, earlier characterised as the law of Christian European nations, or Christian European nations and nations of European origin in America, or public law of Europe, now came to be defined as the law of civilised nations with the assumption that European civilisation was the only civilisation worth acceptance and projection in international law. Despite the clear bias of numerous international law rules, because it was largely a "ruler's law" during its formative years, Asian States are all in favour of accepting its tenets.

Keywords: Asian States; European civilisation; Universal International Law



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