Dalhousie Law Journal


James Ellis


UN Declaration on Friendly Relations, Sources of International Law, Principles of International Law, Friendly Relations, Co-operation among States, United Nations Charter, Resolution, General Assembly, Third World


The United Nations Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations was adopted as a Resolution of the General Assembly in 1970. Since then, most of the countries in the Third World, actively supported by the Soviet Union and its allies in eastern Europe, have tended to give this document an authority that is akin to that of the Sermon on the Mount. At the same time they, as well as a number of lawyers in the western world, have increasingly argued that resolutions of the United Nations constitute a 'source' of international law, so that, regardless of whether the substance of any such resolution conforms to or contradicts accepted rules of law, its contents are to be treated as law binding even upon states which did not vote in its favour. Professor Arangio-Ruiz of the University of Rome delivered a course of lectures at the Hague Academy in 1972 in which he outlined his views on the relationship between the Declaration and the 'sources' of international law. He has now elaborated this course into a monograph entitled The UN Declaration on Friendly Relations and the System of the Sources of InternationalL aw.