The absence of an overarching law-making machinery means that the sources of law are not identical to domestic law and the existence of a particular rule or principle as a law is to be established from sources that are special to the international legal order. Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)4 authoritatively identifies the sources of international law thus:

‘Article 38(1) The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply:

(a)international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting States;

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