After this module, you should be able to:
Public International Law is a legal system that deals with the relationship among nation states and intergovernmental organisations, such as the United Nations and European Union. It is also known as the "law of nations" or simply international law and should not be confused with private international law, foreign law, and comparative law.
There is no central international body that creates public international law. Research in this field requires the use of a wide variety of sources.
The Charter of the United Nations is the establishing document for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the principal judicial organ of the UN. Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice lists the sources that the ICJ uses to resolve disputes as follows:
Research guides can provide a good starting point for providing an introductory overview of public international law research. The University of Melbourne Law Library’s research guide for Public International Law provides an introduction to undertaking public international law research.