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How is International Law Enforced - Thesis Example

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How is International Law Enforced

Laws are only as good as their ability to be enforced and in a decentralized world that is torn apart by self-seeking interests and motives, enforcement of international laws seems a very tall order. This is evinced by the way the organs of the United Nations have behaved in the past, particularly the Security Council, which had difficulty arriving at consensus in resolving problems simply because the chamber has, most of the time, become an extended arena of power struggle. Moreover, not only is the entire international judicial and legal system underpinned by the voluntary participation and submission of parties to the jurisdiction of these courts, but such courts seem impervious to private individuals and entities. The bottom line is that any difficulty in enforcing international law is caused by the lack of necessary support mechanism that is underpinned by the monopoly of legitimate force by a singular, supreme authority that exercises compulsory jurisdiction. Nonetheless, there is little chance that a more revolutionary system of enforcement could substitute the present along the lines of enforcement systems found in municipal laws considering that the nature of association of states is based on voluntariness and respect for one another’s sovereignty. One has only to look back on what the Versailles Treaty has brought to the world as a consequence. The enforcement of international law therefore, would have to continue relying largely on diplomacy, negotiation, state cooperation and third party proxy enforcement, among others; unless there is compelling need to do otherwise. II. Fundamentals of International Law International law is commonly defined as a body of rules governing the relations of states. It is a legal system separate and opposed to the concepts of municipal law, domestic law, national law or internal law allied to an association of human society coming from various jurisdictions. One of the important and distinct features of international law is the breadth of its jurisdiction transcends political boundaries. Thus, international laws govern the conduct of the citizens of more than one country or the conduct of various states with one another on different areas such as economic, political or social (Fichtelberg 43; Ross 12). International law has various sources, but treaties and conventions form the primary foundation of its realm. A treaty or convention is a voluntary agreement between or among several countries, which contain the terms and provisions of how such countries are to conduct themselves with respect to the subject of the agreement. Examples are the Treaty of Versailles, the Treaty of Paris and the European Convention Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (or ECHR). According to Article 38(1) of the International Court of Justice, aside from international conventions, the following also serve to guide its determination of applicable international law: international custom; the general principles of law recognized and practiced by civilized states, and; as subsidiary sources - judicial decisions, teachings of prominent international scholars (cited Malanczuk and Akehurst 36-37; Malone 5-6). The function ...Show more

Summary

Running Head: ENFORCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW Enforcement of International Law By I. Introduction International law plays a very important role in maintaining and sustaining the relative peace that the world presently enjoys. The prospect of another world war is a terrifying spectre and much hope is placed on a just and effective international order that could steer the course of mankind away from that direction and permit it to continue reaping the fruits of the advances of civilization…
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