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International law is a set of generally accepted and binding rules and principles that define rights and obligations in relations between subjects of international law. They originate from customary international law and treaties. Some rules are jus cogens and thus may not be altered by states, while others are jus dispositivum and may be altered by the mutual agreement of states. The Charter of the United Nations is the principal international legal instrument setting out the fundamental principles of international law, and provides the basic framework for its development.
International law has no centralised legislative, executive or judicial authority. Instead, states develop rules through inter-state relations or within international organisations, with the intention of executing their obligations, but there is no uniform system of sanctions for violations of international law: sanctions derive from treaties and customary international law.

International law comprises:

  • public international law, and
  • private international law.

Public international law governs international relations and relationships between entities that are considered subjects of international law in various areas, while private international law regulates disputed status, family, property and other relations between natural persons, when at least one party is not a national.
Furthermore, international law comprises supranational law, known as the law of supranational (regional) organisations, and the law of war.
International law differs from national or internal legal systems od states; it regulates relations between entities that are subjects of international law, states in particular. Many international legal norms also effect the areas usually governed by internal law.

In Slovenia, the relationship between international and national law is established under article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, which states that laws and regulations must comply with the generally accepted principles of international law and with treaties that are binding on the Republic of Slovenia. Ratified treaties apply directly. The Constitution also determines the correlation between the two legal orders.


International Law Department's Areas of Work