INL401 | International Law I

Course Information

  • 2019-20
  • INL401
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • IV
  • Jul 2019
  • Core Course

The expression international law or law of nations is generally referred to “that body of law which is composed for its greater part of the principles and rules of conduct which states feel themselves bound to observe, and therefore, do observe in their relations with each other”.  Of course, the subject also deals with rules and regulations governing international institutions and, in certain circumstance, even individuals.
This course outline intends to introduce students to the subject of international law (IL) through an understanding of the basic legal principles applicable to problems that arise in international relations. These problems are of special nature because of the sovereign nature of the functions states, as primary subjects of international law, undertake within their respective municipal spheres.  The course being foundational one, the principal objective is to help students understand the mechanisms of public order in the international community comprised of sovereign independent state.  Modern day international law, as against traditional international law, has witnessed significant changes, in terms of both approaches to international law and contents thereof.  Some of these changes have occurred thanks to the initiatives taken by new states, that have emerged on the international plane, as they began questioning the Western legal and political thinking shaping the course of International law (for example, see former Prime Minister, Jawarlal Nehru’s Address to the General Assembly, in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Speeches, Vol I, September 1946 – May 1949, Delhi, 1958).  So, there developed ‘Communist, ‘Developing’, ‘Asian’ and ‘Third World’ approaches to international law, one is reminded of the challenges posed to the international community in areas such as human rights including protection of environment, terrorism, foreign investment and technology; warranting adequate response from the states.
In the modern context at least, law making at the international level is by and large accomplished through entering into treaty, either multilateral or bilateral, relationships.  Of course, there are other methods-international custom, general principles of law recognized by modern legal systems; juristic works (see Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) creating obligations for states.  Not to ignore the ‘General Assembly Resolutions’.


Govindraj Hegde
Govindraj G. Hegde

Associate Professor of Law