Also known as Public international lawOrlaw of nations. A collection of legal norms, rules and standards that can be applied between sovereign states and other entities legally recognized as international actors.
Bentham’s original definition of international law
states that it is a collection rules that govern relations between countries. This is an indication of how far international legal has advanced that the original definition does not include individuals or international organizations, which are two of the most vital and dynamic elements of modern international law. It is incorrect to think of international law simply as a collection or set of rules. Instead, it is an evolving complex of rules, influential, but not directly binding, principles, practices and assertions, paired with more sophisticated structures and processes.
in its broadest meaning, provides normative guidelines, methods, mechanisms, as well as a common conceptual language for international actors. This includes primarily sovereign countries, but also increasing numbers of international organizations and individuals. International law covers a wider range of topics and actors than the traditional questions of peace, war and diplomacy. It now includes human rights, economic, trade and space issues as well as international organizations. International law is not an ethical legal order, but it has been heavily influenced by ethical principles and concerns in particular the area of human rights.
International law is different from international comity
This legally non-binding practices that states adopt for reasons of courtesy (e.g. the saluting flags of foreign warships at Sea) are examples of international comity. The study of international or public law is distinct from the study of conflict law or private international. This is the area that deals with the rules and municipal laws (as international lawyers refer to the domestic law of countries) of different countries that have foreign elements.
is a separate system of law that exists outside of the laws of specific states. There are many ways that international law differs from domestic laws. The United Nations General Assembly (UN) has the appearance of a legislature but it does not have the power to make binding laws. Its resolutions are merely recommendations, except in certain cases and for specific purposes within the UN system. These include determining the UN budget and admitting new members. There is also no international court system with extensive jurisdiction. In contentious case, the ICJ is only allowed to exercise its jurisdiction if the concerned states consent. There is neither an international police force nor a comprehensive system of law enforcement.
Additionally, there is no supreme executive power
Although the UN Security Council can authorize force to force states to follow its decisions, it is limited to specific circumstances. In other words, there must have been a prior act of aggression , or threat of such an act. Any such enforcement action may be vetoed at any time by any one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). The UN does not have a permanent military. Therefore, all forces must be assembled by member states on an as-needed basis.
The structure of international relationships includes the unique part of international law
States often consider international laws when considering how to respond to an international situation. While international law violations are often the focus of attention, states tend to be careful to make sure that their actions comply with international laws. Otherwise, the international community would consider them to have violated international law. These rules are not enforced through military force or economic sanctions. The system is maintained by reciprocity and a sense of self-interest.
In the future,
states that violate international rules may be disadvantaged in relations with other countries. A violation of a convention could lead to other states breaking other treaties, and thus causing harm to the original violator. It is also well-known that repeated rule violations could jeopardize all the benefits that the system provides to the international community, states and other actors. The existence of a common set of rules that are accepted by all international actors is what gives this system its value. International law provides both a framework for international interaction and a set procedures. It also gives us common concepts to understand it.