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Vietnam, International Law, Public International Law, Realism

Subject Categories

Conflict of Laws | International Law | Law


With each international crisis inevitably come the self­styled "realists" proclaiming that there is no such thing as public international law. The Vietnam war is no exception, although here, due to the unusual complexity of the facts and the controversy over the applicable rules of international law, many of the published replies to the "realist's" positions have themselves been insubstantial and unconvincing. Let us look first, briefly, at the arguments of one of the realists, and then, with equal brevity, at some of the counterclaims. The remainder of this comment will be addressed to the larger issues involved and some suggested avenues for coping with the implementation of the ideal of world peace through world law.