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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter questions whether there is a hierarchy among the sources of international law and whether such a hierarchy is important for resolving norm conflicts stemming from the different sources of international law. It first examines whether the order between the sources listed in Article 38 (1) (c) of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Statute is an indication of a hierarchy in accordance with the order and form in which the sources are listed or moulded. Thereafter, the chapter examines whether peremptory norms represent a substantive hierarchy. It also questions whether peremptory norms can be categorized in accordance with the sources listed in Article 38 (1) (c), or whether they constitute a separate source in international law. The chapter further engages in a similar analysis of obligations under the United Nations Charter. It concludes that peremptory norms and obligations under the Charter are indicative of a substantive hierarchy in international law.

Keywords: United Nations (UN), General principles of international law, Sources of international law, International Court of Justice (ICJ), Conflict of laws

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