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  • International law (general)
  • Effectively in practice since the Middle Ages,[1] “international law” the term commonly used with reference to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that have their source in the international community of states, rather than individual states, and that bind states together in common adherence to recognized values and standards of behavior. In its most general sense, international law consists of rules and principles of general application dealing with the conduct of states and of intergovernmental organizations and with their inter-relations, as well as with some of their relations with persons, whether natural or juridical.

    [1]    The first treatise on international law (Siyar in Arabic) was the Introduction to the Law of Nations written at the end of the 8th century by Muhammad al-Shaybani. See Herbert J. Liebesny and Majid Khadduri, eds, Law in the Middle East: Volume I: Origin and Development of Islamic Law (Washington: The Middle East Institute, 1955).

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