International Law Commission and the International Legislative Process

By Aniruddha Rajput*

Unlike the process of law making in domestic legal regimes, the process of law making in international law is decentralized and horizontal. There is no legislature in the international legal system. The General Assembly of the United Nations serves as a forum for deliberations by the entire membership of the United Nations and some of the activities there do contribute towards creation of a law. Yet its roles, functions and powers are not entirely comparable with a legislature at the domestic law level. Absence of a centralized legislature or a vertical system does not imply that there is no process of law making. The process of law making – unconventional as compared to domestic system is set out in Article 38 (1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. The sources of law specified therein: custom, treaty, general principles and subsidiary sources (judicial decisions and writings of publicists) specify the sources but do not discuss the legislative process in international law.

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