International Law Essay

1545 words - 7 pages

Running Head: International Law

International Law
Nathaniel Coakley
Troy University
IR 5552
Dr. James F. Rinehart
April 29, 2011


According to Slomanson, International Law is defined as the body rules that which nations consider binding in their mutual relations. It is assumed that all nations or states mentioned in this definition are a sovereign state. International Law has become much broader in scope with the increase of non-government organizations, the increase globalization, and the rising behavior of multinationals. This paper will describe what is International Law and its purpose. It will answer two important ...view middle of the document...

Not having a governing body can be viewed as weakness. For all intensive purpose, International Law is not law and it has no well-built mechanism in place for application. The primary influence of International Law is political considerations compared to the objective approach taken by Domestic Law.
The nature of International Laws is normative. They are especially inclined towards morality and have a revolutionary point of view. International Law is a merging of a varied amount of treaties and protocols that has minimized the discount for the civil liberties of a State.
International Law can be broken down into three disciplines; Public international law, private international law, and supranational law. Private international law addresses which legal jurisdiction may a case be heard and the laws concerning which jurisdiction apply to the issues in the case. Public international law, involves the United Nations, Geneva conventions, international criminal law, and maritime law. International law “consist of rules and principles of general application dealings with the conduct of states and of intergovernmental organizations and with their relations inter se, as well as with some of their relations with person, whether natural or juridical” (McKeever, 2003).
There are many challenges to International Law. The biggest challenge to extending the range International Law is to develop and employ it in a manner that does not clash with domestic laws and does not threaten sovereignty of nations. Another challenge to extending the authority and defense of International Law is the nonexistence of a sovereign authority to impose such law. The closest thing to an international sovereign is the United Nations, but even the United Nations does not have the powers of enforcement and depends on its member states for implementation of its resolutions (Hathaway, 2003). International law will never be as effective as domestic law; the only way it possibly can be is by creating a mechanism to make certain it is enforced. Democratic countries, such as Great Britain and the United States are only accommodating of International Law as long as it caters to their national interest. The nations that oppose to the implementation of international are states that use coercive power or is one the dictatorial regimes such Russia, North Korea, and China. These governments do not like to adhere to cultured norms of behavior, for the most part in the treatment of their own people.
One example of how International Law work is the Island of Palmas Case of 1928. In this case both the United States and the Netherlands claimed that they held the title to this small island that had no economic or strategic value to either nation. Spain ceded the island to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1898). Neither Spain nor the United States ever occupied the island. In 1906, the United States discovered that the Dutch had claimed sovereignty over the island. ...

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