The word " International law" is synonyms and equivalent to the words "law of nations ". It was first used by Jeremy Bentham in 1989. Prior it, International Law was known as the law of nations. Most of the jurists are of the opinion that International Law regulates a relation of states with one another and they, therefore, define the term of International law as a law of nations.
According to Oppenheim International Treaties are agreements, of a contractual character between States or organizations of States, creating legal rights and obligations between the Parties. Treaties and Customs are regarded as the exclusive sources of International Law. According to Lawrance, a treaty is an important Source of International Law and an Instrument for imposing the binding obligation.
[See also... Kinds of Custom ]
2. Sources of International Law :
Sources of International Law are Identified in Article 38(1) of the 1945 Statute of the International Court of Justice (established by the Charter of the United Nations) defines the Sources of International law as under:
(a) International conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
(b) International custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
(c) The general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
(d) Subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.
[See in detail.... Sources of International Law]
3. Treaty as an Important Source of International Law
a) What is Treaty?
A Treaty means a formal agreement between two or more Independent Nations with reference to peace, alliance, commerce or other International relations.
b) Definition of Treaty
A treaty is defined under Article 2 of Vienna Convention on the law of treaties 1969, " A treaty is an agreement whereby two or more States established or seek to establish the relationship between them governed by International Law. It is reduced form of International treaties. Treaties are an agreement between the Independent States creating rights and obligation. There are bilateral or multilateral treaties based on the numbers of States.
There are two types of treaties. 1) Law making treaty and, 2) Treaty Contracts.
1) Law making Treaty-
Law making treaties are those treaties which are entered into by a large number of States. These are the direct source of International Law. These treaties are binding. Law making treaties may be divided into i) treaty giving the rule of Universal International Law. ii) Treaty giving general principles.
(i) Treaty giving the rule of Universal International Law - These treaties are signed by a majority of the State. For Example United Nation Charter.
(ii) Treaty giving general principles - These treaties are entered into and signed by a large number of countries giving thereby general principles of International Like. Geneva Convention on Law of sea and Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961are examples of such a treaty.
2) Treaty Contracts:
These are the treaties which are entered into by two or more States. The provisions of such treaties are binding only on the parties to the treaty. Such type of treaties are also sources of International Law because they help in the development of customary rules of International Law.
[ Read ....Functions of Treaty ]