Introduction to the Study of International Law

International Law

Jeremy Bentham initially coined the term 'International Law'. During the General Assembly organized in 1947, the International Law Commission articulated it. 

This law is avowed as the Law of Nations. Public International Law is the directive of norms, standards, and legal rules, pertinent to sovereign states and other international actors. It lays down the ruling order that governs international communication and associations. International laws present a substructure for the encouragement of organized international relations. 

Definition of International Law

International law can be expounded as "the framework of directives and ruling order relevant for establishing a correspondence between states, the conduct of the nation in correlation to individuals, and an injunction for the international and intergovernmental alliance". It states directive against delinquent proceedings and criminal offences. It is an influential complex developing rapidly with time, inclusive of worldly-wise processes and law structures. In a broader sense, international law issues prescriptive standards with implementation in the most specific law of order for international actors. The international law is a legal order that governs ethical issues, principles, and concerns. 

Scope of International Law

The purview of International Law enfolds all international states. Initially, International law presides over the relationship between sovereign countries. However, with the rise in global complexities, International Law has been amended to provide legislations on state interrelations, pronouncement to adhere to the international organizations, an alliance between the state and individuals. The scope of International Law is not restricted to inter-state correspondence but involves the order of tie-up between individuals and non-state entities. The traditional approach of conduct and relationship between states is amended into a more modern and logical approach towards the activities of entities, which have international personality.

States in International Law

States are the prime subjects to be considered under International Law. There are different other entities under the jurisdiction of International Law. However, the states are entitled to a high range of rights and obligations automatically. The national principles grant the acceptance of a new entity as a state by following declaratory and constitutive theory. The states have the responsibility of direct violation of the International Laws, and liable for the breaches of the obligations and infringements committed by internal institutions. 

Division of International Law

There are two broad classifications - one is Public International Law or popularly referred to as International Law, and another is Private International Law or Conflict of Laws. While International Law covers governing principles between international entities, on the other hand, Private International Law is a constituent of law that maintains associations between individuals and entities among different states. 

International Laws are practised regularly among all foreign entities, national courts, and governmental organizations. This decentralized law applies to only a few developed legal institutions. There is another kind of law known as Supranational Law, that revolves around the postulations of regional agreements and scenarios where the laws of nations or states are not appropriate for resolving conflicts between supranational legal systems. This law is abided by the countries that possess a treaty obligation understating supranational collective. 

Sources of International Laws

The primary sources of International Laws are namely - International Customary Law, Treaty Law, and general principles of law acknowledged by civilized nations.

Customary International Laws

The set of orders derived from the general practices of law is collectively known as Customary International Laws. The generally followed international concept of justice is fragmented into a written and unwritten statute that holds together all the state parties with a particular statute of agreement. The edicts stated are not specific and lack clarity on various topics; its codification is inaccessible and improper in many ways. 

Treaty Law

The contract between two or more parties is known as the treaty. They are an essential constituent in international agreements and forms salient legislation for the regulation of international relations. Treaties are regarded as international conventions for the sources of obligation involving the parties. Such agreements of law are commonly referred to as statutes or protocol, laid down in the Vienna Convention of the Law Treaties of 1969. The fundamental principle of Treaty Law is 'pacta sunt servanda' denoting that treaty should be honoured and followed to the core among all international entities. 

General Principles of Law

The third source of International Law is set out in Article 38 of the civilized nation's guiding principles. This source is utilized when the other two sources of law provide no evidence or guidance. Being gap fillers, they revolve around statistical data, records, or press releases. It is used when a new order is reformed, and legal guidance fails to satisfy the law order put forward by treaties or Customary International Laws. 

Characteristics of International Laws

International Laws adjoin state entities with other actors with consensus or consensual theory, command theory, and natural law. The following are the essential characteristics of International Law:

● This law assists countries worldwide with certain norms and guiding principles that help the state authorities to ensure governance.

● The resolution of conflict among different nations is made based on the theories of International Law.

● The legal order and command for every case is different and should be followed diligently for ordinance and proceedings.

● The law is decentralized, which means there is no central authority taking all the major decisions. The law runs continuously using sanctions. 

● The law functions to arrange cooperative relationships among the international actors, regulating their interests and driving their collaboration and agreements for the betterment of the near future. 

The International Law was traditionally regulated for driving a safe and secure relationship between states. After the Second World WarInternational Law, International Laws were considered to be of prime importance for the protection of human dignity. The laws were abridged to regulate the activities of different international entities. The United Nations Charter fundamentally laid down the modern principles of International Law:

International laws promote and govern the protection of human rights.

● The law ensures a strict regulatory framework for incorporating forces against other states.

● There is a mandatory prohibition being enforced by the governing bodies of International law on acquiring territory by forceful intimidation.



1007 Words


Jul 21, 2020


3 Pages

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