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The Concept of International Obligations Erga Omnes$
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Maurizio Ragazzi

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198298700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198298700.001.0001

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The Appearance of the Concept of Obligations Erga Omnes on the Agenda: The Dictum of the International Court in the Barcelona Traction Case

The Appearance of the Concept of Obligations Erga Omnes on the Agenda: The Dictum of the International Court in the Barcelona Traction Case

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Appearance of the Concept of Obligations Erga Omnes on the Agenda: The Dictum of the International Court in the Barcelona Traction Case
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The Concept of International Obligations Erga Omnes
Author(s):

MAURIZIO RAGAZZI

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198298700.003.0001

This introductory chapter examines the distinction between ratio decidendi and obiter dictum, as a starting point of his subsequent consideration of the background and aftermath of the dictum on obligations erga omnes. The International Court's pronouncement on obligations erga omnes addressed arguments put forward by the parties in the pleadings of the Barcelona Traction case, was unanimously endorsed by the International Court's members, and has been acquiring increasing influence ever since. The characteristic feature of universality of these obligations identified by the International Court (in addition to the element of solidarity in that every state has a legal interest in their protection) raises the complex theoretical question of how to reconcile the consensual nature of relations among states with the existence of obligations erga omnes, which bind states irrespective of consent. This aspect is a principal subject of investigation in this book.

Keywords:   obligations erga omnes, International Court, ratio decidendi, obiter dictum, Barcelona Traction, law of treaties, universality, solidarity

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