ERNEST PETRIČ CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ one based on “the UN system”, did not happen overnight. This transition, however, is not the topic of the present paper. We shall focus instead on the basic principles of international law, on which the new, or to be more precise, present international order is based, and we shall focus especially on their legal nature. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed, but, for reasons of space, we will not deal with all of them. In particular, I will not discuss the substance of the principles of the Charter 1 , neither will I discuss to what extent the Charter can be seen as a constitutional framework, a quasi-constitution of the modern international community, or to what extent the quasi-”constitutional” character of the Charter derives from Article 103 of the Charter, which states that the Charter is hierarchically superior to the treaties concluded by the members of the United Nations. A lot has been written about these, I dare say, “constitutional aspects” of the modern international order. 2 Nevertheless, let me mention that these past 70 years of the “United Nations” 3 international system were a period of peace, when after two World Wars and many wars before them, and in spite of a number of local conflicts and other security challenges (terrorism, genocide, organised crime, etc.), humanity enjoyed peace. This was a period when about two thirds of humanity shook off the various forms of colonial yoke, when the unacceptability of discrimination and respect for fundamental human rights lodged themselves in the legal consciousness of humanity and in real life, and when, irrespective of the exponential growth in world population and still existing remains of poverty, great famines and epidemics – the calamities that befell humanity in past centuries were eliminated. In light of this development and especially considering the fact that peace has been maintained and ensured, one cannot deny the role of the United Nations and the significance of the principles of the Charter. Although this is not the subject of the present paper, this needs to be mentioned on the occasion of the 70 th anniversary
of the United Nations. On Legal Principles
In every period of history, there are certain legal principles also in the international community on which international legal order and consequently the
1 These are more specifically defined in the “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations ” (UNGA Res. 2625(XXV), 24 October 1970). 2 On the so-called constitutional aspects of the modern international order, the Charter and its principles see, for example, R. St. J. MACDONALD, The Charter of the UN as a World Constitution, in: International Law Studies , Vol. 75, International Law Across the Spectrum of Conflict, Essays in Honour of L. C. Green , ed. M. N. SCHMITT; J. CRAWFORD, The Charter of the UN as a Constitution, in: The Changing Constitution of the UN , ed. H. FOX, London 1997. 3 For more on the “system of United Nations” see E. PETRIČ, Zunanja politika - osnove teorije in praksa [ Foreign Policy – From Conception to Diplomatic Practice ] , Ljubljana 2010.