International law is the term commonly used for referring to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that bind together nation-states in adherence to recognized values and standards, differing from other legal systems in that it concerns nations rather than private citizens [cite book | last = Shaw | first = Malcolm N | title = International Law| publisher = Cambridge University Press; 5 edition| date = 2003| pages = 1-2| isbn =978-0521531832 ] . However, the term "International Law" can refer to three distinct legal disciplines:
Public international law, which involves for instance the United Nations, maritime law, international criminal law and the Geneva conventions.
Private international law, or conflict of laws, which addresses the questions of (1) in which legal jurisdiction may a case be heard; and (2) the law concerning which jurisdiction(s) apply to the issues in the case law of supranational organizations, which concerns at present regional agreements where the special distinguishing quality is that laws of nation states are held inapplicable when conflicting with a supranational legal system.
The two traditional branches if of the field are:
jus gentium" — law of nations
jus inter gentes" — agreements among nations
Public International law
Public international law (or international public law) concerns the relationships between subjects of international law, including sovereign nations, international organizations, and in some cases, movements of national liberation (
wars of national liberation) and armed insurrectional movements (see insurgency). The norms of international law have their source in either custom (consistent state practice with opinio juris), globally accepted standards of human behaviour ( peremptory norms known as jus cogens or ius cogens), or codifications contained in conventional agreements, i.e., treaties. Article 13 of the UN Charter obligates the General Assembly to initiate studies and make recommendations which encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification. Evidence of consensus or state practice can sometimes be derived from intergovernmental resolutions or academic and expert legal opinions ( soft law).
International law has existed since the
Middle Ages(see Islamic international law), but much of its modern corpus began developing from the middle of the 19th century. The two World Wars, the League of Nationsand other international organizations such as the International Labor Organizationall contributed to accelerate this process and established much of the foundations of modern public international law. After the failure of the Treaty of Versaillesand World War II, the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations, founded under the UN Charter. The UN has developed new advisory standards, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Other international norms and laws have been established through international agreements; e.g. the Geneva Conventionson the conduct of war or armed conflict, as well as by other international organizations such as the ILO, the World Health Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. Thus later law is of great importance in the realm of international relations.
Conflict of laws
Conflict of laws, often called "private international law" in civil law jurisdictions, is less international than public international law. It is distinguished from public international law because it governs conflicts between private persons, rather than states (or other international bodies with standing). It concerns the questions of which jurisdiction should be permitted to hear a legal dispute between private parties, and which jurisdiction's law should be applied, therefore raising issues of international law. Today
corporations are increasingly capable of shifting capital and labor supply chains across borders, as well as trading with overseas corporations. This increases the number of disputes of an inter-state nature outside a unified legal framework and raises issues of the enforceability of standard practices. Increasing numbers of businesses use commercial arbitrationunder the "New York Convention 1958".
The European Union
European Unionis a concept without definition. The world has never seen such a system. It is the first and only example of a near supra-national legal framework, where sovereign nations have pooled their authority through a system of courts and political institutions. It constitutes a new legal order in international law [http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:61962J0026:EN:HTML] [C-26/62 "Van Gend en Loos v. Nederlanse Administratie Der Belastingen" ] for the mutual social and economic benefit of the member states.
East Africa Community
There are ambitions to make the East African Community, consisting of
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundiand Rwanda, a political federation with its own form of binding supranational law by 2010.
Union of South American Nations
The Union of South American Nations is an organisation on the Latin American continent. It declared in 2004 its intention to establish a framework akin to the European Union by the end of 2007. It is envisaged to have its own passport and currency, and limit barriers to trade.
* [http://www.un.org/law/ Un International Law]
* [http://www.law-essays-uk.com/freeessays/ExperienceofGenocide.php Essay on International Law]
* [http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/international_law Internation law overview]
* [http://www.llmstudy.com/editorial/llmint/ International law in the UK]
Customary international law
List of International Court of Justice cases
Law of warand International humanitarian law
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