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DEFINITION, SOURCES, AND SUBJECTS OF INTERNA
DEFINITION AND SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW.
There is no legislative or judicial authority, recog. $ 1. Origin nized by all nations, which determines the law that regu- tional Law. lates the reciprocal relations of States. The origin of this law must be sought in the principles of justice, applicable to those relations. While in every civil society or state there is always a legislative power which establishes, by express declaration, the civil law of that State, and a judicial power, which interprets that law, and applies it to individual cases, in the great society of nations there is no legislative power, and consequently there are no express laws, except those which result from the conventions wbich States may make with one another. As nations acknowledge no superior, as they have not organized any common paramount authority, for the purpose of establishing by an express declaration their international law, and as they have not constituted any sort of Amphictyonic magistracy to interpret and apply that law, it is impossible that there should be a code of international law illustrated by judicial interpretations.
The inquiry must then be, what are the principles of justice which ought to regulate the mutual relations of nations, that is to say, from what authority is international law derived ?
When the question is thus stated, every publicist will decide it according to his own views, and hence the fundamental differences which we remark in their writings.