International Law: Between the Letter and the Spirit

This book confronts the letter and spirit of international law, its norms and institutions, as well as their interaction with the life of peoples, nations and States in all their cultural diversity.
The exercise consists of de-compartmentalising the analysis of international law, which today concerns all aspects of daily life, and nourishing this analysis with human realities.
International law is presented both as a method and as a message that is rooted in universal values.
Beyond the formal aspects of this discipline, this book seeks to grasp the fundamental meaning of international law in order to assess its relevance and its limitations.
This book focuses on the issues that are disrupting international law today rather than on the well-established aspects of this field.

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Mohamed Bennouna, Professor of International Law and Judge at the International Court of Justice, complements a theoretical work in the field of public international law with his extensive experience in international relations, notably as a representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, as well as his longstanding experience in the practice of international law.
Foreword : Between the letter and the spirit
Part I. The international legal order : foundations and re-assessment
Chapter 1: Methods of analysis and theories of international law
Section 1. Negationist approaches
Section 2. The New Haven School : international law as a decisionmaking process
Section 3. The Reims School : international law as the result of compromises between inter-State contradictions
Section 4. New third-world approaches to international law
Section 5. Feminist approaches to international law
Section 6. How to break down the analysis of international law ?
Chapter 2: Sovereignty
Section 1. Jurisdictional immunities of States and their agents
Para. 1. Jurisdictional immunities of States
Para. 2. Jurisdictional immunity of State agents
Section 2. The responsibility to protect
Chapter 3: Collective security
Section 1. The new requirements of State security
Para. 1. International terrorism
Para. 2. Human security
Section 2. Self-defence
Section 3. The Security Council : master of collective security
Para. 1. The primary responsibility of the Security Council.
Para. 2. Revisiting collective security..
Para. 3. Does the Security Council have general competence to take decisions ?.
Para. 4. Oversight of the Security Council’s compliance with fundamental human rights.
Chapter 4: General international law
Chapter 5: The international legal obligation
Section 1. The nature and purpose of the international legal obligation
Para. 1. The legal interest at issue
Para. 2. The content and scope of the obligation
A. Reciprocal obligations and obligations of common interest
B. Obligations of conduct and obligations of result
Section 2. The effects of an international obligation in States’ domestic legal systems
Chapter 6: The responsibility of states for international crimes
Section 1. The nature of the responsibility of States for international crimes
Section 2. The characteristics of State responsibility for international crimes.
Section 3. The attribution of international crimes to the State for the purposes of its responsibility
Part II. The international order in action
Chapter 7: International justice
Section 1. The International Court of Justice, an institution with general jurisdiction to settle international disputes
Section 2. The dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Section 3. International criminal justice
Section 4. International investment arbitration
Chapter 8: Universal jurisdiction
Section 1. The exercise of universal jurisdiction on a customary basis
Section 2. The exercise of universal jurisdiction on a treaty basis
Chapter 9: Prevention in international law
Section 1. Characteristics of the obligation of prevention
Section 2. International responsibility in matters of prevention
Section 3. The precautionary principle or approach
Para. 1. The precautionary principle in general international law
Para. 2. Implementation of the precautionary principle within the WTO
Chapter 10: The international order of the oceans – challenges and prospects
Section 1. The extension of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles
Section 2. What legal regime for the Arctic Ocean?
Section 3. The dispute settlement system under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Chapter 11: International law and the test of time
Section 1. The interpretation of rules over time
Section 2. The application of international law over time
Chapter 12: The reform of the united nations or the squaring of the circle
Section 1. The efforts to reform the collective security system of the United Nations
Section 2. The right to veto and international rule of law
Selected bibliography
About the Author
Biographical note
Principal publications