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THE APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LEGAL NORMS OVER TIME: THE SECOND BRANCH OF INTERTEMPORAL LAW

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 August 2011

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Abstract

Intertemporal law governs the applicability of international legal norms ratione temporis. According to often used terminology, intertemporal law has two different branches. This article provides clarification of the so-called ‘second branch of intertemporal law’. It does so by refuting two commonly held assumptions. First, as established in section 2 of the article, the second branch of intertemporal law is not an exception to the first branch of that law. It cannot be, since both branches of intertemporal law centre on the same legal principle: an action or a factual state of affairs must be assessed in the light of the law which is contemporary with it. Secondly, as implicated by the line of reasoning in section 2, and further confirmed by the inferential evidence cited in section 3, the practical relevance of the second branch of intertemporal law is not confined to the application of the law on the acquisition to territory. It pertains to a more widely defined group of norms in international law.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Contributors 2011

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