Revisiting the Interaction of the Trilogy of Sources of International Law

Timothy F. Yerima


This article revisits the interaction of the primary or trilogy of sources of international law, drawing particular references from international human rights. The article reveals the pivotal role of consent in the formation of treaties (expressed consent) and customary international rules (implied consent); and points out that, in view of the rapid development of international law, the general principles of law would continue to develop new spheres of international law, including international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international environmental law and so on. The article also reveals that consent is a connecting factor of the trilogy of sources of international law. It concludes that since the internationalization of human rights in the 20th Century, respect for human rights itself becomes a rule of customary international law(implied consent) to the effect that no State can embark upon flagrant violation of human rights under the façade of State sovereignty without the intervention of international body or bodies.

Key Words: Sources, human rights, international law, treaties, custom, general principles of law

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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