The Changing Nature of Customary International Law: Methods of Interpreting the Concept of Custom in International Criminal Tribunals, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Changing Nature of Customary International Law

Methods of Interpreting the Concept of Custom in International Criminal Tribunals, 1st Edition

By Noora Arajärvi


194 pages

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This book examines the evolution of customary international law (CIL) as a source of international law. Using the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a key case study, the book explores the importance of CIL in the development of international criminal law and focuses on the ways in which international criminal tribunals can be said to change the ways in which CIL is formed and identified. In doing so, the book surveys the process and substance of CIL, as well as the problematic distinction between the elements of state practice and opinio juris.

By applying an inclusive positivist approach, Noora Arajärvi analyses the methodologies of identification of CIL in selected cases of the ICTY, and their normative foundations. Through examination of the case-law and the reasoning of courts and tribunals, Arajärvi demonstrates to what extent the court's chosen method of identification of CIL affects the process of custom formation and the resulting system of norms in general.

The book will be of great value to researchers and scholars of international law, international relations, and practitioners with interests in customary international law.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Genesis of Customary International Law and International Criminal Law 2. New Concept of Customary International Law - The Role of International Criminal Judge 3. Customary International Law in the Decisions of the ICTY 4. Principle of Legality and Customary International Law 5. The Need for a New Conceptual Framework for the Sources in International Law General Conclusion

About the Author

Noora Arajärvi serves in the United Nations as part of the Rule of Law Unit at the EOSG. She has previously worked as a lecturer at UCLan Cyprus, UWI in Trinidad and Tobago, and as a research assistant at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Dr Arajärvi gained her Ph.D. from the EUI in Florence in 2011. In her recent research, she concentrates on (inclusive) positivist theory of sources in international law.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Law

The series offers a space for new and emerging scholars of international law to publish original arguments, as well as presenting alternative perspectives from more established names in international legal research.  Works cover both the theory and practice of international law, presenting innovative analyses of the nature and state of international law itself as well as more specific studies within particular disciplines. The series will explore topics such as the changes to the international legal order, the processes of law-making and law-enforcement, as well as the range of actors in public international law. The books will take a variety of different methodological approaches to the subject including interdisciplinary, critical legal studies, feminist, and Third World approaches, as well as the sociology of international law. Looking at the past, present and future of international law the series reflects the current vitality and diversity of international legal scholarship.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
LAW / Jurisprudence
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / International