Article 38 1. The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply: a. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states; b. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law; c. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations; d. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law. 2. This provision shall not prejudice the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo et bono, if the parties agree thereto.
When you are trying to understand how the U.S. Legal system works, there are many aspects that are taken into consideration. This article will give a brief overview of all significant areas for you to look at when trying to understand how this system works. First of all, it is crucial to understand the structure of the federal government and the areas within the legal system that are established by the U.S. Constitution. Of the four court systems, the District Court is based more on a local level. Made up of civil and criminal cases, the judge is responsible for trying the case while a jury of 12 decides the case. Every state has at least one district court. Under this umbrella also lies bankruptcy court and there are also four sections that try federal cases. These areas are the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. If this is a civil case, during the decision-making process in district court, the person who won the case was awarded some monetary gain for damages that happened, while the person who lost the case will go to prison if this happens to be a criminal case. Next in line is the U.S. Court of Appeals. If the person who lost the case decides to file an appeal, the next step is to go through the appeal process. Comprised of 179 judges, the court of appeals is one of the most important levels of the court system, because it covers a large segment of regions that have huge populations. For this reason, they have a large influence on U.S. law. Third among the court systems is the Judicial Branch. The basis of this branch of the court system is to interpret the law between two opposing parties and settle the issue. And finally, the highest level of the court system is the U.S. Supreme Court. After all resources have been explored, and an issue is still not resolved, the Supreme Court is the last option. While there are many cases submitted to Supreme Court, only 1% out of thousands of cases will make it to this level.