International law can go through substantial changes if the privileged legal subjects, states, share a common will. Whenever the circumstances are such, the actors can convene a conference and after a series of negotiations, they might conclude an international agreement among themselves resulting in a new setup of international law. From a procedural point of view, therefore, it is rather simple to ‘make’ international law. If the substantive elements significantly overlap (i.e. common denominator of state interests), international law can be altered in line with the will of the parties. This essay deals with four such fields which have significantly been modified during the post-1940 period: human rights, environmental law, law of the sea, and space law. The first two are of particular importance as they have overarching effects in relation to other legal fields.
All the legal transformations identified in this paper, I argue, point into one direction: a less salient principle of sovereign equality and ever-increasing important transnational regimes. Today, the absolute authority of a state over its territory and population is under more limitations than it was seventy years ago.
2. Human Rights
The evolution of human rights is a remarkable process in the Post-World War II international law. Human rights went through a very influential change following 1945 as a result of the massive violations of human rights taking place during the Second World War. The next sixty years were marked by the development of sophisticated international human rights treaties. General human rights gradually climbed up to the international level and joined the club of slavery and labor rights. The adoption of the UN Char...
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...ntric and sovereignty-focused set of rules. However, these implications should be handled carefully as sovereign equality of states is still, and it remains so in the foreseeable future, the dominant feature of international relations.
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8. Franca’s presentation.
9. Freestone-Salman. In R.
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13. Rio Declaration
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15. Slide on ’The nine pillars of the common heritage of mankind’.
16. Slides on ’History’
17. Slides on ‘Climate Change’
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19. UN Charter
20. UNHCR. In R.
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