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Themes and Theories$
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Rosalyn Higgins

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198262350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.001.0001

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International Law and the Reasonable Nee of Governments to Govern Inaugural Lecture, London School of Economics and Political Science 22nd November, 1982

International Law and the Reasonable Nee of Governments to Govern Inaugural Lecture, London School of Economics and Political Science 22nd November, 1982

Chapter:
(p.783) 7.3 International Law and the Reasonable Nee of Governments to Govern Inaugural Lecture, London School of Economics and Political Science 22nd November, 1982
Source:
Themes and Theories
Author(s):

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.003.0051

This chapter argues that international law and national governments are mutually interdependent. Indeed, international law’s appreciation of the reasonable need of governments to govern is part of what we may term the ecological balance of international society. International law is still, of course, largely concerned with sovereign states. States are the most important of the actors in the international legal system, and their sovereignty is at the heart of this system. It is not only in the human rights area that international tribunals — whether interpreting treaties or otherwise — are faced with difficult problems relating to governments’ claims to be allowed to govern without interference. This chapter discusses the role of international treaties and international tribunals, the concept of domestic jurisdiction, the question of international law rights associated with property, the concept of sovereign immunity from jurisdiction, and the act of state doctrine.

Keywords:   international law, national governments, sovereignty, human rights, international tribunals, international treaties, domestic jurisdiction, property, sovereign immunity, act of state doctrine

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