The ways of identification of jus cogens and invocation of international responsibility
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This article deals with identification of jus cogens norms and international responsibility arising under a peremptory norms of general international law. The concept of jus cogens implies some kind of legal “superiority” of these norms over common traditional rules of international law. This concept is based on acceptance and recognition of these norms by international community of states (and of international governmental organisations) with the aim to protect its vital values and international legal order. The legal concept of jus cogens in international law was introduced by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). This Convention, however, does not provide the explanation of the creation or identification of these norms. The idea of jus cogens norms was originally denied by the adherents of legal positivism and supported by the representatives of various natural schools. In author’s view jus cogens norms are to be identified not only in customary international law but also in conventional international law. The norms of jus cogens limit the will of states in their behaviour, protecting the fundamental values of the human civilization. Jus cogens norms are created in the same way as customary or conventional international law. When the customary or conventional rules of international law reach the status of jus cogens they acquire a special position and significance. These norms can be modified in very complicated way. Besides there is no general agreement as to which rules have this character. The main ways of jus cogens identification must be the practice of states and the decision of international courts. Violations of jus cogens norms endangering the whole international community entail special international responsibility.
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