Customary International Law

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International laws that derive their authority from the constant and consistent practice of States, rather than from formal expression in a treaty or legal text. In order for State practice to contribute to the formation of customary international law, that practice should be conducted with a sense of legal obligation. Several of the provisions in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the prohibition against slavery, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings, are generally recognized to have become part of customary international law.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR Master Glossary of Terms, June 2006, Rev.1,
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Glossary of Terms

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