law can be defined as it is a type of law which is required for the
sake of agreement and regulation of those agreements. This idea can
also be rendered as the rules and regulations which are required for
agreement between different state entities and legality between them.
In other words we can say that International law, regulates the
activities and relations between different states and these states
come up with consensus due to these laws. The term “International
Law” was first coined or given by Jeremy Bentham in 1780.
domains of International Law are very wide. All treaties,
conventions, pacts, International Humanitarian Law, International
Human Rights Law. International Refugee Law, International Criminal
Law, International disaster response law, Labor Laws, Laws for Trade,
Environment Law, Law of Sea, Law of War and many more all come under
the umbrella of International Law one way or the other. These Laws
are practiced and some courts are also present for their
implementation where needed such as International Court of Justice
(ICJ) and International Criminal Court (ICC).
Law is sometimes compared with the municipal law or domestic law and
argument is provided which dictates that it is not true form of law.
This is said due to the factors that there is no particular
legislature which can enact the rule like municipal laws. Similarly
there is no executive committee present which may enforce these laws
as observed in the municipal laws. Likewise it is stated that there
is no concrete judiciary which can interpret these laws, lastly that
International Law is often violated by other States. These arguments
are a collection of facade statements because counter part of these
are also present which are much more promising. Firstly, a
legislative authority is present in International Law in the form of
General Assembly and Security Council. This legislative body forms
treaties and pacts globally and with scholarly experts of the field
which is much better then domestic legislative bodies. Secondly,
Enforcement is present in the form of fear, sanctions, pressure by
the global community, actions taken by the security council, majority
voting etc. Lastly, Judicial machinery is also present in the form of
International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Criminal Court
(ICC) and many other forums etc. Hence International Law is law in
the true sense and has emerged now as a completely different subject
for study. In addition to this the comparison between International
Law and domestic law is not possible. The comparisons may be done
between different nations as the mechanisms are more or less the same
but in the case of International Law this is a fragile argument. The
mechanisms present for the enforcement, and other factors are
completely different and cannot be held equivalent.
relation between municipal laws and International Laws is also
confused sometimes and misunderstood. There are two theories present
which can be helpful to explain and understand the relation between
the two type of laws:
means that the domestic and International Law both are in the same
sphere and can be related at one part or another. These two types of
laws are part of one another and have deep relationship. Differences
may be present but there is some overlapping between these
International Laws and domestics laws.
means that International Law and domestic law are completely entities
and it is not possible to relate or compare them. The International
Law is completely separate from domestic law having very different
mechanisms and wholely parallel operations.
Law is everywhere and it is an integral part of our lives whether we
know it or not. Take the example of trade between two states or two
different people residing in two different states, or we can see the
Law of Sea for that matter. When someone is moving from on country to
another the use of air space of the other country or all the
technicalities of aviation are also part of the International Law. We
can see alliances formed by different states or nations, the
different rules and regulations which are to be followed at the
airport or what is brought by a person from another country,
terrorism, war between different countries etc. All these and many
other are all part of International Law directly or indirectly. It is
the need of modern times as well. We are living in the era of
globalization where everything is integrated from trade to customs
and relations of countries, no matter where anyone is living humans
are always connected through different means. Because of the era of
globalization the value of International Law is increasing day by day
and we can very much observe the gravity of this. It can be in the
form of tax, intellectual property, labor or commercial, it can be
World Health Organization or World Trade Organization everything
which has been growing since the last century is in many ways related
to the wave of International Law and it has huge effects on our lives
as we can observe through these examples.
of International Law:
Law can be divided into two main types mainly:
International Law (also referred as the law of nations) is the set of
rules, regulations, laws or principles which are required to govern
relations among different states and/or other state or non-state
actors. Public International Law in other words is the result of
different treaties or conventions between states. We can take the
example of a treaty signed by two countries or more than two
International Law (also known as the law of conflicts or conflict of
laws) is the law which deal with individuals which are residing in
different countries and are usually connected through business or
commerce or marriage and birthright etc. For example there are two
businessmen, one living in Pakistan and the other in Australia. These
two countries have different laws so if a conflict takes place
between these two parties it could not be settled according to their
respective laws and hence Private International Law comes into play.
Take another example of a marriage between couple belonging to
different ethnicity and nationalities. The male is from China while
the female is from USA. If the issue of divorce is faced than who can
these two parties separated as the laws of these nations are also
different. Here again we can take help from the Private International
Law has been present through various courses of history but with
different names and ideas. As discussed before the term
“International Law” was first coined in the 1780 but we can also
see that there were several treaties in history which are related to
this idea. For example Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, a historical
event which stopped a 30 year old conflict between two nations.
Through the 1900’s the world peace has been at stake and human rights
distorted. War between power hegemonic, conflicts between state and
non-state actors all boosted the need for International Law and it’s
importance. Likewise we can see the example of League of Nations,
founded in 1919 and further the formation of United Nations in 1945
strengthen the International Law. The Nuremberg trials, Rwanda and
Yugoslavia genocide, bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Nuremberg
Principles, Cold War. Due to several conflicts arising due to
countries in the past International Law has been made more powerful
and effective then before and it is due to the historical events
International Law is a strong player during these modern times.
of International Law:
of International Law are the people, unit, agency, entity or state
which are regarded as legitimate to function and can be driven by the
International Law. The subjects are having legal statuses in the eyes
of Law. The following are the subjects of International Law:
Organizations (World Health Organization WHO, World Trade
Organization WTO, etc.)
(Diplomatic immunity is given to statesmen)
Companies/ Co-operations (Starbucks, McDonald’s, Nike etc.)
Groups (Rebels gaining power in a certain area or territory)
the above are the subjects of International Law and weigh huge
importance. As state is the most imperative subject of the
International Law hence it is top in the list but under varied
circumstances rights are given to Multinational Co operations,
Belligerent Groups or rebel groups, NGOs and individuals.
of International Law:
of the International Law signify the means from which the rules and
principles of International Law are emerged. From these sources the
laws or rules of the International Law are extracted and maintained.
According to the Article 38 of the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) statute the following are the sources of the International Law:
Principles of Law
Writings of Scholars
is the primary source of International Law. Treaty digests all the
international agreements which occur between two or more than two
countries. The term treaty is also given a varied number of other
names as well such as convention, pact, declaration, protocol,
agreement, etc. All these are different names of the same basic idea.
The treaties are present in the written and all the parties have
consent in it. There can be more than one type of treaties like:
law making treaty is a type in which a new law is given with the
consent of other parties. Such treaties did not exist in the past and
is given for the first time. For example Non-Proliferation Treaty.
is a treaty which codify a pre-existing norm or law. The norm is
present before this type of treaty is formed but they are made to
present it in a better way in which it existed before. For example
providing diplomatic immunity to diplomats or statesmen of states.
Instrument means the type of treaty which form international
organizations of different type. The basis of a certain international
organization or mechanisms is done by this treaty category. For
example the creation of SAARC was done in SAARC Charter, Rwanda or
Yugoslavia tribunals etc.
Contract which is between two or more nations for the sake of any
contract or arrangement. For example European Union’s trade etc.
are habits or norms which have been practiced through a very long
period of time and turns it’s effect in the form of a law. It needs
to be used by a majority of people and in addition to that a large
amount of time period had passed and still being practiced forms into
customs or norms. Reflection of consistent practice. For example
Geneva Convention and jail rules.
Principles of Law:
General Principles of Law means those principles which are practiced
or considered legitimate among the nations of the world. We see the
commonality of principles between nations and not the differences.
For example Principle of Equity, Principle of Right of due process
are the decisions which are made by the courts and become a part of
the International Law. As the courts are highly qualified in this
aspect as many experts are present so it makes sense to make them a
part of the Laws which they are governing. For example decisions made
by International Court of Justice (ICJ).
are the writings of the legal scholars or judges. As the judges are a
part of the system and considered righteous and unbiased so there
work can also be added to the International system of Law.
academic scholars are the well read and experts of International Law.
The works of these scholars can also be made part of the Law if
needed. For example articles published in highly acclaimed journals.
is just the brief introduction of International Law and it’s
framework, there are several other domains present which could not be
discussed in addition to the sub-categories. International Law is the
need of modern times and with the increase in globalization it will
also evolve with time in addition to rectifying loopholes which are
still impregmanted into it’s system.