International Law Outline



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Paquete Habana – SCOTUS – 1900 (81)

  1. When does CONSISTENT practice become LAW?

    1. Cuban fishing vessel captured and sold by US. Can US capture these non-military boats?

  2. "ancient usage among civilized nations…gradually ripening into a rule of international law" – fishing vessels are exempt from capture as prize of war

  3. Reviews treaties, then practice, then scholars

    1. Limited range of states looked at, limited range of scholars

    2. Limited to European nations with a bit of US, Mexico thrown in

  • Torture? – customary norm against it, but 80-90% of states engage in it. States say it’s rare, however, and practiced only by those deviating from the norms.

    1. International courts will generally FIND NORM, and then try to pressure contrary practices to conform


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