Unilateral Acts of States as a Source of International Obligation in International Law

Document Type : Original Article


1 University of Tehran, Farabi Campus

2 Law department of Univesity Of Tehran


The subject of international law’s sources is one of the most debateful subjects in international law. Article 38 of International Court of Justice statute has been enumerated the international law’s sources. Unilateral acts of states haven’t any status between these sources but the states have shown repeatedly that they accepted some obligations through these acts and know themselves beneficiary in related to unilateral acts of other states. There are similar positions about international case law. This situation has led to be mentioned the unilateral acts and declarations of the states as one of the international obligations. But, all unilateral acts are not as such. The doctrine, states practice and case law have explained some conditions for the validity and the binding of unilateral acts, then with help of these conditions is separated legal acts from political ones. Thus, it seems the unilateral acts of states, under certain circumstances, have binding effects.


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