Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Duhaime's International Law Dictionary

This is a specialized sub-listing of our comprehensive Law Dictionary, where we've grouped terms relevant to this topic. If your term or phrase is not here, do a SEARCH using the search box above.

Action or inaction which binds a person legally even though it was not intended as such.
An attachment to a written document.
Unjustified use of force against the territorial integrity of another state.
An object used for flight through the air.
Air Law
The law of aircraft, their passengers and cargo, and their transit above states and other governed territory.
A military treaty between two or more states, providing for a mutually-planned offensive, or for assistance in the case of attack on any member.
al Qaeda
A terrorist organization, nominally Islamic, and originally based in Afghanistan.
The highest ranked diplomat assigned to the sending state's embassy in another state, usually at the receiving state's capital city.
The right of a state at war, in circumstances of necessity, to seize or destroy property belonging to a neutral state.
The targeted, covert killing of an individual without legal process and usually for reasons of, though not necessarily limited to, political or military expediency.
A secure place of refuge.
Attorn or Attornment
To consent, implicitly or explicitly, to a transfer of a right.
The release of an infectious agent to cause illness or death against a civilian population.
An agreement between two or more merchants to create or control a monopoly, to lessen or prevent competition.
Casus Foederis
Latin: treaty event.
Certificate of Inheritance
A formal legal probate document issued in Germany.
Chasing Order
An order sought by a party seeking return of a child that grants custody of the child to that party after the child has already been removed from the jurisdiction.
Choice of Law Clause
A term of a contract which sets the jurisdiction for dispute resolution, or the applicable law, in the event of any dispute between the conrtracting parties.
The status of an individual as owing allegiance to, and enjoying the benefits of, a designated state.
Civil War
Armed conflict by identifiable faction(s) within a nation which threatens or has broken down an existing government, law and order.
A utopian state of government where specified property or means of production are owned by the state and not citizens or persons, and which may also provide for a form of equal distribution of national production.
Community Law
The law of the European Union as established by treaties and cases of the EU courts.
The co-existence of two or more equally authoritative systems or sources of law.
Conflict of Laws
A specialized branch of law which resolves cases which have an element of conflicting foreign law.
A decision achieved through negotiation whereby a hybrid resolution is arrived on an issue, dispute or disagreement, comprising typically of concessions made by all parties, and to which all parties then subscribe unanimously as an acceptable resolution.
A representative of a foreign government assigned to another country to promote and protect the commercial interests of the subjects of his government.
Continental Shelf
Subsoil and sea bed beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coast and which extends as a natural prolongation of the land into and under the sea.
Coup d'etat
French: an often violent, always sudden and unlawful replacement of an existing government.
Crimes Against Humanity
An international criminal justice offence; the perpetration of acts of war upon a civilian, non-soldier population.
Customary International Law
International law which does not have a treaty base but, rather, exists because of international custom.
Declaration of War
An explicit warning from one state to another, in the form either of a reasoned intent to commence hostilities or of an ultimatum which carries the same result.
A word coined by the diplomatic community and referring to a strongly worded warning by one country to another and often, either explicitly or implicitly, with the threat of military consequence.
A form of government in which the people freely govern themselves; where the executive (or administrative) and law-making (or legislative) power is given to persons chosen by the population; the free people.
The removal of a foreign national under immigration laws for reasons such as illegal entry or conduct dangerous to the public welfare.
Peaceful representations between states.
An official representative of a state, present in another state for the purposes of general representation of the state-of-origin or for the purpose of specific international negotiations on behalf of the diplomat's state-of-origin.
Diplomatic Immunity
Immunity extended to diplomat officers from criminal and civil jurisdiction of their host state.
Discovery - International Law
A form of acquisition of land in centuries past.
Doctrine of Specialty
A typical requirement in extradition: that the receiving state not prosecute the individual being extradicted but for the offence for which extradition was sought.
The permanent residence of a person; a place to which, even if he or she were temporary absent, they intend to return.
Droit d'aubaine
French: an ancient right to keep the property of any deceased foreign subject.
Droit de naufrage
French: an ancient right of any land-owner to claim the wreck and men (as slaves) of any ship which wrecked upon waters adjacent to his land.
Dual Criminality
A typical requirement of extradition treaties: that the conduct alleged constitute a crime in both the demanding and the delivering state.
Dual Sovereignty Doctrine
A maxim of law which allows the double prosecution of a person by more than one state for the same crime, where both states have jurisdiction for the prosecution, and notwithstanding the double jeopardy rule.
Erga Omnes
Latin: towards everyone.
The practice of playing the spy, or of employing spies.
Ex Patriate
A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.
The voluntary renunciation or abandonment of citizenship.
The arrest and delivery of a fugitive wanted for a crime committed in another country, usually under the terms of a extradition treaty.
Extradition Crime
Conduct which is a crime in both the state seeking extradition and the state extraditing.
A form of government which is authoritarian, oppressively conservative, who believe in the supremacy of the stated national group, and which, at least initially, purports to vest law-making and administrative authority in the hands of workers or their organizations.
FISA Order
(USA) A court order approving electronic surveillance or a search of a target suspected of acting on behalf of a foreign power or terrorist organization.
Forum Conveniens
The court or forum most suitable for the ends of justice.
One who runs away to avoid arrest, prosecution or imprisonment.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Multilateral international trade treaty first created in 1947 and frequently amended.
Systematic killing of persons because of their ethnicity.
Organization of law-making and law enforcement; the form and institutions by which law and order are developed and maintained in a society.
Great Britain
England, Wales and Scotland, since 1707.
Habitual Residence
Ordinary residence.
Arabic: a form of international money transfer often used to conduct money laundering.
High Seas
A term of international and maritime law; the open ocean, not part of the exclusive economic zone, territorial sea or internal waters of any state.
Hors de combat
French: outside of combat. A civilian or a soldier who has relinquished or been extricated from combat status.
Hostis Humani Generis
Latin: the enemy of mankind.
Human Dignity
An individual or group's sense of self-respect and self-worth, physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.
Human Trafficking
The transportation or commercial exchange of an individual by coercion or deception for the purpose of exploitation.
An exemption that a person enjoys from the normal operation of the law such as a legal duty or liability, either criminal or civil.
The absorption of subject states, usually for the purpose of harvesting raw materials, into a federalistic political organization.
In Personam
Latin: regarding a person; a right, action, judgment or entitlement that is attached to a specific person(s).
In Rem
Latin: regarding a thing; proprietary in nature; a right or judgment related to the use or ownership of an item of property.
International Convention on Salvage, 1989
An international treaty which standardizes, for signatories, the rules related to salvage and the compensation thereof.
International Crime
Crimes which affect the peace or safety of more than one state or which are so reprehensible in nature as to justify the intervention of international agencies in the investigation and prosecution thereof.
International Criminal Law
Offences made criminal in international law and related matters such as jurisdiction, courts and tribunals.
International Law
A combination of treaties and customs which regulates the conduct of states amongst themselves, and persons who trade or have legal relationships which involve the jurisdiction of more than one state.
In Terrorem
Latin: in terror, fright, threat or warning.
In tota fine erga omnes et omnia
Latin: for all purposes, in regards to all and everything.
Latin: by right, under legal authority.
Jure Gestionis
The private or commercial acts of a state.
Jure Imperii
Latin: imperial authority.
Jus Ad Bellum
Latin: the legal authority to wage war.
Jus Cogens
Latin: peremptory law.
Jus Detractus
Latin: The right to deduct.
Jus Dispositivum
Law adopted by consent.
Jus Ex Injuria Non Oritur
Latin: a legal right or entitlement cannot arise from an unlawful act or omission.
Law of Nations
The body of rules that nations in the international community universally abide by, or accede to, out of a sense of legal obligation and mutual concern.
Law of the Flag
A principle of maritime and international law; that the sailors and vessel will be subject to the laws of the state corresponding to the flag flown by the vessel.
Letters Rogatory
A request of a judge in one jurisdiction to a court of another, to conduct some litigation-related task such as process service or the examination of a specific witness.
Lex Causae
Latin; law of the cause.
Lex Situs
A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something.
Latin: the place; venue.
Locus Regit Actum
Latin: The law of the place where the facts occurred.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
A document which generally is not intended to be legally binding but, if meeting the other criteria, can be, in law, a contract.
Middle East
An informal term referring, generally, to that geographical area, and states therein, between the Black Sea to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south, and including Iran and Egypt.
Mobilia Sequuntur Personam, Immobilia Situa
Latin: movables follow the person, immovables their locality.
Modi Vivendi
Latin: limited force. A temporary and often limited interim agreement between states pending negotiation and ratification of a treaty.
Abbreviation of Memorandum of Understanding. A document intended to become a contract but which, if meeting other criteria, can be recognized, in law, as a contract.
Muslim law: any person who professes as a religion, that there is but one God and that Mohammad is the prophet of that God.
Muslim Law
The body of law derived from the Koran and other recorded sayings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (570-632).
A distinct group or race of people that share history, traditions and culture.
National Interest
A matter which has or could have impact upon all other members of society.
An aggressive political and militaristic form of government including the use of international deceit and expansionism, the arbitrary suspension of the rule of law, and arbitrary eugenics or genocide.
Nemo Patriam In Qua Natus Est Exuere, Nec Ligeantiae Debitum Ejurare Possit
Latin: No one can renounce the country in which he was born nor the bond of allegiance.
A state's declared impartiality and non-interference in the declared or de facto war of other states.
Opinio Juris
Latin: the sense of legal obligation. In international law, acceptance of a practice as sufficient to create legal obligations.
Ordinarily Resident
The place where in the settled routine of an individual's life, he or she regularly, normally or customarily lives.
The intentional violation of a promise or of some trust, such as misusing a flag of truce during war in order to facilitate an attack.
Persona Non Grata
Latin: an unwelcome person. A diplomat who is no longer welcome to the government to which he is accredited.
Phillips v Eyre, Rule in
When a tort has been committed on foreign soil, it cannot be brought on home soil unless it was actionable if it had of occurred on home soil, and without legal justification at the place it occurred.
Piracy Jure Gentium
Piracy according to the law of nations.
Piracy (Maritime Law)
Violence or depredation on the high seas or in the air, for private ends, using aircraft or vessels.
A person who engages in piracy.
Private International Law
A specialized branch of law which resolves cases which have an element of conflicting foreign law.
Property taken at sea from an enemy.
Prize Court
Courts instituted for the purpose of trying judicially the lawfulness of captures at sea.
Prize Law
Rules of international law under which in war conditions, property and vessels, including transport ships, and their cargoes, may be seized.
Proprio Motu
Latin: of one's own initiative.
International agreements of a less formal nature than a treaty and which amends, supplements or clarifies a treaty.
Quam legem exteri nobis posuere, eandem illis ponemus
Latin: What law is imposed by foreign powers on our merchants, we will impose on their's.
Qui Jure Suo Utitur Neminem Facit Injuriam
Latin: he who exercises his legal rights harms no one.
Racial Pollution
A prohibition of sexual relations with persons outside of defined races.
Ratione Loci
Latin: by reason of the place.
Ratione Personae
Latin: by reason of his person.
Ratione Soli
Latin: In relation to territory, land.
Rebus Sic Stantibus
Latin: changed circumstances.
A rule of jurisdiction which enables a counterclaim against another who, although otherwise beyond the jurisdiction of the court, has voluntarily submitted to jurisdiction by iniating the principal action.
Abbreviation for reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders, an international system of enforcement of support orders.
Discriminatory actions against the citizens of one state by and within that of another, as a gentle reprisal against some perceived injustice imposed upon their own citizens in and by the targeted state.
Rebellion, often by organized military action, but always with the support of a significant proportion of the population, aimed at the replacement of an existing government.
Right of Hot Pursuit
The right of a state to chase and arrest a vessel which has committed an offense within its waters.
A place of temporary refuge and protection to avoid law enforcement.
Sex Trafficking
The coercion of an individual into, or maintained therein, prostitution.
Sharia Law
Muslim or Islamic law, both civil and criminal justice as well as regulating individual conduct both personal and moral.
Sic Utera Tuo Ut Alienam Non Laedas
Latin: use your property in such a fashion so as to not disturb others.
A form or system of government which champions the equal sharing of land and equal return of the product of the land and industry to all citizens.
A state's ability to legislate without legal limitation save as set by themselves and the reach of international law.
Spy / Spies
A person who acts clandestinely or on false pretenses to endeavour to obtain information of or within another state with the intention of communicating or selling it to others.
The technical or performance specifications in regards to a product.
Groups of people which have acquired international recognition as an independent country and which have a population, a common language and a defined and distinct territory.
State Immunity
A principle of international law which exempts a State from prosecution or suit for the violation of the domestic laws of another state.
Sub Spe Rati
Latin: in the hope of ratification.
Territorial Sea
Waters adjacent to a state's coast and subject to its sovereignty.
Violence against civilians intended to intimidate a population or a government from taking or abstaining from an act.
The intentional infliction of pain or suffering on an animal or a person and as for the latter, even if for the purpose of obtaining information such as a confession or the names of accomplices, or as a punishment for crime.
A formal agreement between two states signed by official representatives of each state.
Tu quoque
Latin: you too; a justification in international law that the whatever act is being complained of was also committed by the accusing parties.
Ultra Petita
Latin: beyond that which is sought.
United Kingdom
England and Wales with Scotland (forming Great Britain), and Northern Ireland.
United States
The territory over which the sovereignty of the United States extends.
Universal Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over the offender of a heinous crime that is universally condemned internationally even though neither offender nor victim may be citizens.
Vana Est Illa Potentia Quae Nunquam Venit In Actum
Latin: power is vain if never put into action.
The use of violence and force between two or more states to resolve a matter of dispute.
War Crimes
Excessive brutality during war, in contravention of an international treaty or convention.
A criminal investigation interrogation technique whereby a person suspected of having or withholding relevant information is blindfolded and bound on their back, sometimes with the face covered with porous or nonporous material, and subjected to water poured over their mouth and nose such as to simulate drowning and to thus, under duress, elicit information.
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Device designed to kill humans through the use of atomic or nuclear energy or the release of chemicals, poisons, biological agents or radioactivity.

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