International Law Outline


US Company (SEDCO) v. Iran – 1986 (87-89)



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US Company (SEDCO) v. Iran – 1986 (87-89)

  1. Evaluates GA resolutions – not binding, and not generally evidence of customary law

    1. May be regarded as evidence or can contribute to creation of such law

  2. Decides 1803 and NOT 3171/3281 that reflects CURRENT int’l law

  3. Rules for FULL compensation, as US requests

  • US Co. (TEXACO) v. Libya – 1978 (89-92)

    1. Also dismissive of later GA resolutions – though passed by large margins

      1. Notes that several developing countries abstained, and western companies abstained/voted against

    2. Can we imagine a more NUANCED argument?

      1. Could say 1803 was adopted with more consensus because people were unaware of post-colonial issues at the time. Since then, understand more.

    3. Upholds Western position, and Libya complies by entering SETTLEMENT.

  • World Bank efforts to regulate FDI?

    1. Sees itself as forum through which North and South can mediate

    2. Puts out set of “soft law” principles

      1. US objects.

      2. Again, WB does it anyway, and hopes the principles gather enough use and support to become customary law.

    3. Instead, US encourages development of BITs (bilateral investment treaties)

      1. All of US bits formalize their opinion on the matter.

  • Session Five – States (Actors, Part One)

    1. STATES

      1. Historically, only actors that mattered were states

        1. Pre-Westphalia – borders set by wars

        2. Treaty of Westphalia – in theory, recognition of existing borders, but can still increase territory through warfare

        3. 19th century – colonialist grab for land throughout the world (terra nullius – empty land, i.e. not under the control of any state)

        4. WWI ends – strong effort to enhance stability of borders through use of int’l law.

          1. New enunciated principle of self-determination

          2. Instead of winning powers taking colonies of losing powers – haunting language


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