SEMESTER I, 2008/2009 SESSION
AHMAD IBRAHIM KULLIYYAH OF LAWS
Programme : Bachelor of Laws Level of : Third /
Reading Time : 2.30 p.m. – 2.45 p.m. Date : 30.10.2008
Duration : ( 15 minutes )
Answering Time : 2.45 p.m. – 5.45 p.m. Section(s) : All Sections
Duration ( 3 hours )
Course Title : Public International Law I Course Code : LAW 3910/
This Question Paper Consists of 5 Printed Pages With 6 Questions.
INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
DO NOT OPEN UNTIL YOU ARE ASKED TO DO SO.
Answer FOUR (4) Questions Only.
Basic Documents in International Law
Any form of cheating or attempt to cheat is a serious
offence which may lead to dismissal
Statutes should be free from any form of annotation.
(a) Discuss the enforceability of international law.
(b) Do you agree with the view that individuals possess international legal
personality? Critically comment.
(a) ‘If a treaty conflicts with a custom and the treaty is later in time than the custom,
subject to the operation of rules of jus cogens, the treaty will prevail. This is
because treaties represent a deliberate and conscious act of law creation.’
Examine critically the above statement with reference to the relationship between
treaties and customary international law.
(b) Explain how soft law contributes to the development of international law rules.
“The courts acknowledge the existence of a body of rules which nations
accept among themselves. On any judicial issue they seek to ascertain
what the relevant rule is, and having found it they will treat it as
incorporated into the domestic law so far as it is not inconsistent with rules
enacted by statutes or finally declared by their tribunals.”
(Per Lord Atkin in Chung Chi Cheung v. R  AC 160; 9 ILR 264)
Comment on the above dictum and discuss the dominant doctrine on the applicability of
customary international law in the United Kingdom.
In 1800, Captain Green, a naval officer of the State of Ruritania, discovered an
uninhabited island, 1,000 nautical miles from Ruritania. He proclaimed and declared that
the sovereignty of the island, which he named “Green Island”, beginning from that date
belonged to Ruritania. Captain Green had made careful and minute geographical notes
but he and his crew were unsuccessful in their attempts to land on the shore of the island.
They left the island without leaving therein any sign of sovereignty. However, Captain
Green officially informed the event to the government of Ruritania who published it in
Beginning from 1850, fishermen from Arcadia, a State located some 300 nautical miles
from the Green Island, began to fish in the coastal waters around it and established a
fishing village there. In 1860, when guano was discovered in the Green Island, more
people from Arcadia moved to the Green Island. Beginning from 1865, officials from
Arcadia went to the island every year to collect taxes from the inhabitants. In 1900,
Arcadia drew a map in which the island – which Arcadia named “Guano Island” - was
included in the territory of Arcadia.
Since the year 2000, when oil was discovered in the island, both Ruritania and Arcadia
have been making competing claims on sovereignty over it.
Discuss the legal position.
Mr. X is a citizen of State A. In 2007, he hijacked an aircraft while it was over the
Mediterranean Sea. The aircraft was owned and operated by an airline incorporated in
State B. Mr. X threatened the pilot of the aircraft and ordered him to fly the aircraft to
State C. When the aircraft landed there, he announced that he would kill all the
passengers from the aircraft unless State D set free a number of convicted terrorists. State
D met his demands. Mr. X then set free the passengers. As part of the deal, State C
granted Mr. X safe passage out of State C. Most of the passengers on the aircraft, which
Mr. X hijacked, were from State E. Mr. X was later arrested by State E’s police while he
was in State E.
Which country can claim jurisdiction over Mr. X on what principle of international law?
The State of Machoville does not have good relations with the State of Ruritania and the
State of Wadadli, but it maintains diplomatic relations with both States. Machoville
suspects that Ruritania is using its embassy to support the growing opposition in
Machoville. One day, the Machovillian police stop and search the Ruritanian
Ambassador while he is being driven to the embassy. They do not find anything
incriminating but proceed to search the embassy anyway. They find large supplies of
machine guns and rocket launchers; Ruritania says it is normal diplomatic practice for
embassies to possess such weapons for self-defence. Machoville also learns that the
Wadadli embassy is harbouring the leader of the opposition. The Machovillian army
surrounds the embassy and, in an attempt to force the leader of the opposition to give
himself up, they play music very loudly for a week. Machoville declares the Head of the
Wadadli Mission persona non grata and when he emerges from the embassy two weeks
after it was first surrounded, he is arrested and charged with subversion.
Discuss the legal position.