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2 Images of International Law

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Chapter Summary

To become operational the norms of international law have to be identified, applied, accepted, promoted, and developed through institutions: mostly by states and inter-state entities such as the International Court of Justice, ad hoc international tribunals, the International Law Commission, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General and certain UN specialized agencies like IMO, ICAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The field of international law today accommodates a wide diversity of perspectives. Specialists differ significantly in their assessment of the character, scope, and effectiveness of the law of nations. They may also disagree on its future directions, and even on its origins. Before embarking on an excursion into the history of international law, this chapter examines the "imagery" of its guardians and proponents. The images of international law have a life of their own, but international law does not always seem to be what it is.

Keywords:guardians; images; International Court of Justice; international law; international tribunals; proponents; UN Security Council; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)



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