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Customary Legal Norms

Custom is a source of law in many nation-states as well as in international law. Although it is of inferior authority to legislation and scholars often give it less attention than statutory law and judicial decision making, in many states it is the source of legal norms of great importance in the lives of many subjects. Customary legal norms have legal authority prior to their recognition. Organs of state law enforce them on the ground that they already have the quality of law. Such norms are sometimes required to have received long observance, and to be regarded as obligatory, before they can be recognized in the communities in which they are observed. State organs also usually assert a discretionary authority to override custom when they ...

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