There are some general principles that are accepted by all nations. These are principles that are considered as being similar for all nations and are beliefs that are accepted right and wrong in general manner as well as by national laws in most nations. As an example considers the belief of faith, good faith is a concept that is considered as necessary for any agreement making. Countries will usually consider the issue of good faith when they make a decision on a case. Since almost all countries analyse the ‘good faith’ requirement, it is almost as certainly accepted as a standard in international law (Jackson, 1997). Where there are no treaties or customary international law to be used to discuss an issue, countries could resort to applying the general principles. Similar to general principles judicial decisions might also be used as a form of substitute when it comes to international law making. Article 38(1) (d) clarifies the position on when judicial decisions could be used. There however might not be a binding precedent. The Judicial decision could only apply to the particular case for which a judgement has been sought. The Statute of the ICJ however might make use of its own past decision when it needs to address international tribunal decisions. Hence past cases are used as a form of guidance source.
The Article 38(1) (d) furthermore will not differentiate from decisions made in the international court and national courts. In addition to these, the writings of international sources might be considered as well. Sources in the form of United Nations General Assembly might also be considered. Most of these other sources however are neither complete nor absolute forms and hence have to be considered based on the context of issue resolution (Greenwood, 2008). The international law in the second half of the 20th century, post Second World War was seen to change. The change was as much in the sources. For instance, in the two decades after the First World War some categories were created to protect refugees. These in more current times are called the soft laws. “The fundamental reorientation towards peace and cooperation, the growth and strengthening of international organization, the quick responses to great challenges of our time, the widening of the scope of the new international law and the intensification of its normative content as well as its other features seem to justify a positive judgement on its development during the period after World War 2” (Zhou, 2014, p.269).