Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

 

International Law

International law has increased in use and importance vastly over the twentieth century, due to the increase in global trade, armed conflict, international terrorism, international sea piracy, world food security, environmental deterioration on a worldwide scale, awareness of human rights violations, rapid and vast increases in international transportation and a boom in global communications etc. 

Photo; United Nations | HQ Building in Manhattan, New York, USA.

This field of study combines two main branches: the law of nations (jus gentium) and international agreements and conventions (jus inter gentes) as mentioned above in the history of international law. In its most general sense, international law “consists of rules and principles of general application dealing with the conduct of states and of intergovernmental organizations and with their relations inter se, as well as with some of their relations with persons, whether natural or juridical.” It also concerns the existence, recognition of, structures and conduct of sovereign states, analogous entities, such as the Holy See (State of the Vatican City in Rome, small principalities), and intergovernmental organizations. 

To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond domestic legal interpretation and enforcement. International law has three principal sources: international treaties, custom, and general principles of law. In addition, judicial decisions and teachings may be applied as “subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law” (cf. Art. 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice). International treaty law comprises obligations states expressly and voluntarily accept between themselves in treaties.

Customary international law is derived from the consistent practice of States accompanied by opinio juris, i.e. the conviction of States that the consistent practice is required by a legal obligation. Judgments of international tribunals as well as scholarly works have traditionally been looked to as persuasive sources for custom in addition to direct evidence of state behavior (and they are also explicitly mentioned as such in Art. 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law). Attempts to codify customary international law picked up momentum after the Second World War with the formation of the International Law Commission (ILC), under the aegis of the United Nations. Codified customary law is made the binding interpretation of the underlying custom by agreement through treaty. For states not party to such treaties, the work of the ILC may still be accepted as custom applying to those states. General principles of law are those commonly recognized by the major legal systems of the world.

Certain norms of international law achieve the binding force of peremptory norms (jus cogens) as to include all states with no permissible derogations. International law is used to govern issues relating to the global environment, the global commons such as international waters and outer space, global communications, and world trade. Whilst municipal law is hierarchical or vertical in its structure (meaning that a legislature enacts binding legislation), international law is horizontal in nature. This means that all states are sovereign and theoretically equal. As a result of the notion of sovereignty, the value and authority of international law is dependent upon the voluntary participation of states in its formulation, observance, and enforcement. Although there may be exceptions, it is thought by many international academics that most states enter into legal commitments with other states out of enlightened self-interest rather than adherence to a body of law that is higher than their own. As D. W. Greig notes, “international law cannot exist in isolation from the political factors operating in the sphere of international relations” Breaches of international law raise difficult questions for lawyers. Since international law has no established compulsory judicial system for the settlement of disputes or a coercive penal system, it is not as straightforward as managing breaches within a domestic legal system. 

cHowever, there are means by which breaches are brought to the attention of the international ommunity and some means for resolution. For example, there are judicial or quasi-judicial tribunals in international law in certain areas such as trade and human rights. The formation of the United Nations, for example, created a means for the world community to enforce international law upon members that violate its charter through the Security Council. Traditionally, sovereign states and the Holy See were the sole subjects of international law. With the proliferation of international organizations over the last century, they have in some cases been recognized as relevant parties as well. Recent interpretations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international trade law (e.g., North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 actions) have been inclusive of corporations, and even of certain individuals.

International law originated in the Peace of Westphalia in Osnabrück and Münster (1648) Beginning with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries saw the growth of the concept of the sovereign “nation-state”, which consisted of a nation controlled by a centralized system of government. The concept of nationalism became increasingly important as people began to see themselves as citizens of a particular nation with a distinct national identity. Until the mid-19th century, relations between nation-states were dictated by treaty, agreements to behave in a certain way towards another state, unenforceable except by force, and not binding except as matters of honor and faithfulness. But treaties alone became increasingly toothless and wars became increasingly destructive, most markedly towards civilians, and civilized peoples decried their horrors, leading to calls for regulation of the acts of states, especially in times of war. 

Perhaps the first instrument of modern public international law was the Lieber Code, passed in 1863 by the Congress of the United States, to govern the conduct of US forces during the United States Civil War and considered to be the first written recitation of the rules and articles of war, adhered to by all civilized nations. In the years that followed, other states subscribed to limitations of their conduct, and numerous other treaties and bodies were created to regulate the conduct of states towards one another in terms of these treaties, including, but not limited to, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 1899; the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the first of which was passed in 1907; the International Court of Justice in 1921; the Genocide Convention; and the International Criminal Court, in the late 1990s. There has always been conflct between international law and municipal law; Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign state defined in opposition to international law.

Note: This publication does not contain footnotes.
For footnotes please buy and read the book below.

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Legal Method . Book Cover 202x300 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LAWCulled from: Legal Method  | Author: Nnamdi Ebo  |  Published by LawLords Publications  |  ISBN: 978-978-49827-9-6  | 1st Edition 2012
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