This chapter discusses the law which the international community believes to be international law. It examines how the rules and other normative standards of international law are made, integrated, reconciled, changed, judicially applied, complied with, implemented within states, and enforced. It argues that all international law rules and judicial decisions are ultimately grounded in custom as a basic form of social, informal pressure by the states system and that no ‘private affair’ is conceivable in the system even when rules apply only to particular states. The identification of the rules of international law is loosely inspired by the doctrine of the sources of law originally developed in the domestic legal systems of a few Western states and by other criteria capable of ensuring a relatively systemic unity, coherence, and completeness. Much of the credibility of international law rather depends on its domestic implementation by the states themselves.
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