The Concept of Res Communis in International Law
History of European Ideas
As the means by which man defines relations, creates expectations and assigns obligations, law provides a chronicle of the progress of man himself. The most fundamental laws address issues of survival: to insure that individual actions will contribute to and not jeopardize the welfare of the group. With survival needs met, the law moves on to address individual rights in matters of property and other private relations. What the law seeks to do is not only to provide guidance, where the balance between group and individual rights appears uncertain, but also to help the parties to a dispute come to agreement on a course of action or decide that there is need for change in existing practices. To be effective, and to be observed, law must be dynamic.
The Concept of Res Communis in International Law,
Hist. Eur. Ideas
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/854