CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS ȃ JUS COGENS ? Article or in the travaux preparatoires , in subsequent case law, theory, and practice of States. It may be claimed, however, that considering jus cogens to be a separate, new formal source of international law would be stretching it too far. 9 Jus cogens is to be found in treaties, customary international law, and general legal principles. Jus cogens can be detected, identified in these formal sources of international law, which are recognised as sources by all States. At the same time it is nevertheless obvious that the norms and principles of jus cogens are not the same as mere treaties or customary international law, which are both an expression of the will of States formed either directly (treaties) or indirectly, i.e. by actual conduct accompanied by opinio juris (customary international law). If jus cogens was just like a treaty or customary international law, which are both expressions of the will of States, it would be unacceptable, absurd ( contradictio in adjecto ) to claim that the States, which established jus cogens by their own free will, by concluding a treaty, cannot modify it with a new, different treaty. There is thus some logic in claiming that jus cogens can, however, be identified only through formal sources of international law, since the principles of jus cogens are not just suspended in the air but are present in the sources of international law. However, ius cogens entail norms and principles with a special legal character, special “quality” which is not just an expression of the will of States. This special “quality” of jus cogens , which is recognised by States in treaties and through their actual conduct (customary law), reflects the fact that jus cogens reflects and protects the fundamental values of the human society that has achieved a certain level of civilizational development. When they are adopted and implemented as such, as jus cogens , these norms and principles step out of reach of the sheer will of States and their practice. They are no longer treaties or customary international law or general legal principles in the sense of Article 38 of the Statute of the ICJ. They are jus cogens , which has a special nature and significance attributed to it by States – they cannot modify them by their own free will like they can the rest of international law – because they reflect and protect fundamental values of the current international community. 10 Article 53 of the VCLT refers to the norms that reflect the “accept[ance] and recogni[tion of ] the international community of States”. It is worth noting that already at the time of the drafting of the Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations and later, it was subject to much debate that jus cogens does not apply only to an “international community of States” as such, as a modern international community 9 For more on this topic see K. HOSSAIN, The Concept of Jus Cogens and the Obligation Under the UN Charter, in: Santa Clara Journal of International Law , vol. 3/2005, p. 79 id; whereas C. MIK, op. cit., p. 53, believes that “peremptory norms cannot be based on traditional sources of international law”. 10 C. MIK, op. cit., p. 92, stresses in particular that the norms of jus cogens are the “norms which protect universally recognized values connected with the existence of state and its nations as well as basic human values, the protection of which are in the interest of the world community”.