One of the functions of law necessary to civilized life is to protect rights which have been created by private contracts concluded in a manner recognized by the law as valid. International law upholds, with some reservations, rights created by international treaties and agreements. This principle is essential to the existence of any kind of international community and is, as we have seen, recognized in theory by all states. The fact that the only written obligations of states are those contained in treaties, and that customary international law is limited in scope and sometimes uncertain in content, has given to treaties a more prominent place in international law than is occupied by contracts in municipal law.
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