Edited By Jan Kysela
International law limits on state power Limitation of state power by international law at the beginning of the 21st century
← 42 | 43 → Pavel Ondřejek
International law limits on state power. Limitation of state power by international law at the beginning of the 21st century
Modern international law, as it emerged at the end of the Thirty Years’ War, gave rise to conditions for the co-existence and co-operation of states.1 During this period a purely power-based view of international relations underwent a transformation and gradually the concepts of state sovereignty, international liability and other important attributes of international law developed. Whenever speaking about the sovereignty of states it is necessary to remember that this is a relative concept, as even sovereign states were limited by obligations that they took on within their autonomous law-making processes.2
An important development in international law commenced after the Second World War (for L. Weinrib this period was characterised by its acknowledgment of the innate human dignity of every person without exception and a focus of the legal order on human rights and natural law values; she refers to this as the “postwar paradigm”).3 Within international law the first catalogues of human rights were adopted as well; the importance of these rights was then further elaborated by the judgments of the International Court of Justice,4 as well as the decisions ← 43 | 44 → of other emerging judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. The importance of human rights obligations arising from international law increased significantly after the International Court of Justice constructed the doctrine of obligations of states erga omnes, on...
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