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International Law

International Law



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Published by MA Economics
Definitions of International Laws, Scope, Advantages, Disadvantages, Types
Definitions of International Laws, Scope, Advantages, Disadvantages, Types

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Published by: MA Economics on Jan 08, 2009
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International Law
Background of International Law:
In any given society where people live together, conflicts of interests are bound to arise and there isalways the need to do justice. Rules for the regulations of human conduct are, therefore, present in allsocieties. They are necessary for the stability and peace because man would not know how he should behave. As the relations of the individuals in a society are governed by municipal law, the relations of the states are governed by international law. Like municipal law, international law also maintainsinternational order and stability in the society of nations. It is in the interest of states themselves toagree and to regulate their relations with one another.
Definitions of International Law:
International law means the law among nations. It is a law which governs the conduct of states'interests. International law is the body of rules which defines and regulates the relations of states in theinternational society. It creates rights and obligations on the states.According to Lawrence, “International law is the body of rules of civilised states in their dealings”.According to Hall, “International law consists in certain rules which modern states regard in thisrelations with one another”.International law is the body of rules which regulates the relations of states, and is also known as'Public International Law'.International law is divided into two laws:(1)The law of war, and(2)The law of peace.
Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law:
International law has already been defined above and as generally called 'Public International Law'. Adistinction between public international law and private international law.Public international law regulates the conduct of states with one another; whereas the privateinternational law regulates the relations of the citizens of different states.Public international law is the same for all the states while private international law varies from state tostate. Every state has its own rules of private international law and they are laid down by the courts.Public international law is concerned with the conduct of states, while private international law dealswith the acts of individuals.
Public international law is a weak law, whereas private international law is more effective.Private international law is applied to those cases where some conflict is found between the municipallaws. Such conflict of law may arise in cases of citizenship, marriage, divorce and so on. The need of arises when a municipal count has to apply foreign law which the municipal courts follow when adispute arises between foreign element and private persons.
Development of International Law:
In any given society where people live together, conflicts of interests are bound to arise and there isalways need to do justice. Rules, therefore, present in all societies. They are necessary for ordestability and peace because without them man would not know how he should behave. Such behaviour are called 'laws'. As the relations of the individuals in a society are governed by municipal laws, therelations of sovereign states are governed by international laws. International law maintains stabilityamong the nations. It is in the interest of states themselves to agree a set of principles of rules of their relations with one another.
Evolution of International Law:
The evolution or history and development of international law is divided into the following stages:(1)The primitive and ancient period,(2)The middle age,(3)The 15
and 16
centuries,(4)The 19
century, and(5)The 20
century and later.(1)
Primitive and Ancient Period:
The early history of human civilisation, there are some tracesof international law especially in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, ancient Jews and ancientRome. They entered into different treaties with other nations.(a)
Ancient Greece:
Amongst the Greeks we find that states relations were regulated byinternational law which was based on a religious morality but these rules of international lawwere applied only on the people of the same race. The non-Greeks were treated as 'barbarians'.(b)
Ancient Rome:
As in the Greece, in Rome also the rules of international law were on religiousmorality.(2)
Middle Age:
During the middle age there was no favourable climate for the development of international law. Following international laws were enacted mostly in the European countries:(a)The supremacy of church and its law throughout the European countries. Pope made theinternational law.(b)Beside the Pope, the Emperor represented the supreme authority in the western world.(3)
and 16
The 15
and the 16
centuries are considered as the centuries of therise of international law throughout the Europe. The process of development was spread over from the middle of the 6
century to the end of the 15
century. At that time Europe was in factdivided into a great number of independent states and the necessity for international law to
regulate the relations of the states arose.It was during this time that a number of thinkers and writers began to work out several schemes.Thus at the end of the period, two factors become very apparent, i.e. fall of the church andsecularisation of the political force, and the fall of Roman empire and the rise of sovereignstates. Another important feature of the two centuries was the rise of a number of text bookswriters who not only gave a systematic treatment of the subject but also suggested new rules.(4)
The 19
century was the period during which treaties and internationalconferences began to play a very vital role in the development of international law. TheConvention of Paris of 1856 contained rules for the guidance of states on warfare at sea.The third convention of importance was the Geneva Convention of 1864, which provided rulesfor the betterment of the condition of the sick and wounded in warfare. Besides theseconventions which provided rules for regulation of warfare during this century, there werenumerous conferences for the regulation of economic and social interest.Various international unions were formed for the promotion of the above interests. For example, public health, public morals, public safety, etc. The Hague Conference of 1899 calledat the instance of the Czar of Russia, its objects was the limitation of armaments.(5)
International law in the classical period (i.e. 15
to 19
century) developed tocover such things as freedom of seas, foreign courts, etc. The First World War brought theclassical period of international law to an end. After WWI, states agreed in the League of  Nations through collective security system. The same tendency of the 19
century can be seentill the First World War. There were many more international conferences. The most importantof them was the Hague Conference of 1907.Europe realised the importance of international organisation for the purpose of maintaininginternational peace and security and the promotion of international co-operation. After theWorld War I, the Treaty of Versailles laid the foundation of the League of Nations. The nextimportant treaty of the 20
century was the Treaty of Lacarno in 1925.After the World War II, the United Nations was established and its organ the International Courtof Justice (ICJ) became a permanent international court of justice.
Nature and Functions of International Laws:
International law means the law among the nations of the world. It is a law which governs the conductof the state interest. International law is the body of rules which defines and regulates the relations of states in the international society.International laws are frequent especially during the war periods. One of the biggest limitations of theinternational law is its enforcement. International Court of Justice has no power to enforce its judgements on the states. The states are free to obey or disobey the decisions given by the ICJ.Violations of international law are certainly frequent, especially, during the war periods. The states in breaking international law never deny its existence but interpret it in a way as to justify their actions.

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