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Delineating the Normativity of Equity in International Law

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image of International Community Law Review

The role of equity and equitable principles in international adjudication has long been subject to debate in international legal scholarship, one of the main reasons being the obscurity in properly identifying the normative foundations of equity in international law. This study addresses this issue in specific by providing a three-tier analytical discourse with a view to delineate equity's normativity. In this sense, it is, first, acknowledged that equity has been envisaged as forming part of the wider corpus of positive international law; then, equity is examined vis-à-vis the doctrine of “sources”; finally, the analysis turns to the “routes of entry” of equity in international law, i.e. via treaty, custom, and, most prominently, equitable principles, themselves “general principles of law” of Art. 38(1)(c) of the I.C.J. Statute.

Affiliations: 1: Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Laws, University College London, UK;, Email:


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