5 Definitions of International Law

The same goes for businesses and businesses. Globalization has led to commercial activities between different countries. For example, if you are a victim of a scam by a personal/private person or an organization from a foreign country, the rules of private international law will apply if you wish to bring an action. However, a basic knowledge of international law is still useful to the general public. Decisions about where and when to send U.S. forces are made in the shadow of international treaties, and the various safety regulations between nations affect many products in the U.S. market. The natural law approach holds that international norms should be based on axiomatic truths. Natural law expert Francisco de Vitoria from the 16th century. A professor of theology at the University of Salamanca studied issues of just war, Spanish authority in America, and the rights of Native Americans. In addition, judicial decisions and the teachings of eminent international lawyers can be used as “subsidiary means of determining legal norms”. Transnational law: An umbrella term for any law governing acts or events that cross national borders, including but not limited to public and private international law. Modern legal positivists regard international law as a uniform system of rules based on the will of States.

International law, as it stands, is an “objective” reality that must be distinguished from law “as it should be”. Classical positivism requires rigorous tests of legal validity and considers all extra-legal arguments irrelevant. [56] Sources of international law include international practices (general state practice accepted as law), treaties, and general principles of law recognized by most national legal systems. International law can also be reflected in the international community, the practices and customs of States to maintain good relations and mutual recognition, such as patronage under the flag of a foreign ship or the enforcement of a foreign court order. Under Article 2, paragraph 7, of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations cannot interfere in the internal affairs of States. It has been shown that in such situations, international laws are ineffective and weak. “International law” is about relations between nations. These include standards of international conduct, the law of the sea, economic law, diplomatic law, environmental law, human rights law and humanitarian law. Some principles of international law are written or “codified” in a number of treaties, but others are not written anywhere. These are known as “usual” laws, and nations accept them by doing nothing. Customary international law results from the permanent practice of States, accompanied by opinio juris, that is, the conviction of States that the consistent practice is required by a legal obligation. Judgments of international tribunals, as well as scientific articles, have traditionally been considered convincing sources of practice, in addition to direct evidence of state behavior.

Attempts to codify customary international law gained momentum after the Second World War with the establishment of the International Law Commission (ILC) under the auspices of the United Nations. Codified customary law is the binding interpretation of the underlying habit made by agreement by contract. For States that are not parties to such treaties, the work of the ILC may continue to be accepted as a habit that applies to those States. The general principles of law are those that are generally accepted by the most important legal systems in the world. Some norms of international law are binding to respect peremptory norms (jus cogens), which include all States without authorized exception. [29] The early days of the positivist school emphasized the importance of customs and treaties as sources of international law. Alberico Gentili of the 16th century In the nineteenth century, historical examples were used to postulate that positive law (jus voluntarium) was determined by general consent. Cornelius van Bynkershoek asserted that the foundations of international law were customs and treaties to which various States generally agreed, while John Jacob Moser stressed the importance of state practice in international law. The school of positivism narrowed the scope of international practice that could be considered law, preferring rationality to morality and ethics. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 marked the formal recognition of the international political and legal system based on the conditions of Europe. International legal theory encompasses a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain and analyze the content, formation and effectiveness of international law and institutions, and to propose improvements.

Some approaches focus on the issue of compliance: why do states follow international standards when there is no coercive power to ensure compliance? Other approaches focus on the problem of the formation of international rules: why States voluntarily adopt norms of international law that restrict their freedom of action, in the absence of global legislation; while other perspectives are policy-oriented: they develop theoretical frameworks and tools to critique existing standards and make suggestions on how they can be improved. Some of these approaches are based on national legal theory, others are interdisciplinary, and others have been explicitly developed for the analysis of international law. The classical approaches to international legal theory are the schools of thought of natural law, eclectic positivism and law. Nation-states adhere to the principle par in parem non habet imperium, “There is no sovereign power among equals.” This is reaffirmed in Article 2(1) of the Charter of the United Nations, which states that no State shall be subject to another State. John Austin thus asserted that “so-called” international law, which lacks sovereign power and is therefore unenforceable, is not at all a law, but a “positive morality” based on “opinions and feelings”. ethical rather than legal. [57] Since most international laws are governed by treaties, it is generally up to individual nations to apply the law. However, some international organizations apply certain treaties. The most notable example is that of the United Nations, which has 192 Member States. Lord Coleridge, C.J. said in Queen v. Keyn [3], that international law “is the law of nations, it is the set of customs that civilized states have agreed to observe in their relations with each other.” That is why there are both in international law: the principle of territorial integrity and the right to self-determination.

In the European Middle Ages, international law dealt primarily with the purpose and legitimacy of war and sought to determine what constituted a “just war”. For example, the armistice theory held that the nation that had provoked an unjustified war could not enjoy the right to receive or conquer trophies that were legitimate at the time. [20] The Greco-Roman concept of natural law was combined with religious principles by the Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) and the Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) to create the new discipline of “international law” which, unlike his Roman predecessor of the same name, applied natural law to relations between states. In Islam, a similar framework was developed in which the law of nations was derived in part from the principles and rules established in treaties with non-Muslims. [21] According to this theory, only nation-states are considered an object of international law. It is based on the principle that the concept of international law for the nation/state emerged. These nations/states are distinct and distinct entities capable of having their own rights, duties and duties and possessing the capacity to enforce their rights under international law. All are considered subjects of international law and are enshrined in both rights and obligations. The Italian peninsula, divided into different city-states with complex and often torn relationships, was then an early incubator of international legal theory. The jurist and professor of law Bartolus da Saxoferrato (1313-1357), who was well acquainted with Roman and Byzantine law, contributed to the increasingly relevant field of “conflict-of-law rules”, which concerns disputes between individuals and organizations in various sovereign jurisdictions; He is thus considered the founder of private international law. Another Italian jurist and professor of law, Baldus de Ubaldis (1327-1400), provided numerous commentaries and compilations of Roman, ecclesiastical and feudal law, thus creating an organized source of law to which different nations could refer.

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