In 1945, international law as we know it was officially formed. The main difference between International laws and other local legal laws is that international laws mainly deal with a nation as a whole whereas a country specific legal system deals with individuals within their respective nations. The two laws of prime importance are private international law and public international law.
The disputes amongst private individuals, juridical or natural, arising out of scenarios which have a vital relationship with more than one nation are dealt by private international laws whereas the questions of rights among numerous citizens or nations are dealt by the public international laws. World bodies such as the United Nations have framed the international laws in which certain rules and regulations are agreed upon by member countries to follow upon. International laws can also be set up by international agreements in which case the agreements sets up the laws for the parties of the agreement. International law has only played a minimal role in maintaining world peace. There are a lot of rules and agreements between various nations on how to go about with their respective conflicts, however at the end of the day, enforcement of such laws are problematic. It is highly evident that the international laws have the potential to manage conflicts and provide solutions to a number of problems. The structure of the current international law often favors specific groups of countries.
Typically the source of such laws is the powerful nations and as such the laws are more influential if they support the powerful nations. The influence in shaping up the international law framed by the United Nations is an example as it is evident that the influences are inconsistent. The laws relating to trades are enforced by the powerful nations, which mean that the developed nations often are the ones dictating the terms. To inflict punishment and forcing weaker states to obey is the market power which they possess.
Therefore the developing countries lack the power to retaliate properly. It is the same situation when dealing with the international laws regarding the environment. The developed countries are unwilling to draft a law that puts pressure on their economies and instead want the developing nations to put a cap on their capabilities. In addition, it is also true that the stronger nations are choosing to obey laws that only benefit them and they are forcing other powers to obey the laws irrespective of their wishes. The entire system of international laws can be force of good, only if it is impartial, and all nations follow those laws. Only then is international law viable. The international laws governing wars is nothing but a set of principles and rules to be followed by member states and it states the acceptable justifications to engage in a act of war against one or many nations.
The law of war is generally considered to be a part of the public international law. Along with its dissimilarity and proportionality, the usage of lethal force, treatment of war prisoners, surrender terms and the declaration statements of war are included in the international laws of war. Perhaps one of the most famous treaties regarding the rules and justification of war was the First Geneva Convention in 1864. After all drastic measures like economic sanctions and disturbances taking place in economic relations apart from other modes of communications such as radio, postal, air, sea, rail links, the military force would be authorized under the United Nations Charters article 42. Only for the purpose of restoring peace and security internally, the military forces can be deployed in any area of unrest. I agree with all the international laws defined by the United Nations charter relating to wars. Use of military force should be considered only as the very last step in a conflict. I too believe that the right approach towards resolving conflicts is not more violence. However there are certain situations where the use of lethal force is necessary and in those situations, I believe the Security Council is the one to make the final decisions. An example of this is the Iraq war in 2003. The United States along with its ally, the UK invaded Iraq in the pretext of them building weapons of mass destruction.
The issue here was that the term self defense was ambiguous and could be twisted to have different meanings depending on who was making decisions. Hence, the United Nations must take steps to make sure all its charters are absolutely clear before making those decisions. In the end the United States could not prove the existence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and simply said that it was still the right thing to do. Therefore the Iraq invasion was completely unjustified according to me and countries like the United States who try circumventing the United Nations Authority only shows us that the United Nations is just a puppet. 8. “Peacekeeping is defined by the United Nations as an unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict creates the conditions for lasting peace” (UN 2010). An important part of the mechanism of international community is the various peace keeping forces. They are mainly present to resolve conflicts and maintain peace during a crisis. Some of the peace keeping forces do have both military and civilian branches. A large number of duties are covered by the establishments which are developed at a faster pace.
International peace keeping organizations have been forming steadily since mid-20th century. Yes, I do believe that these peace keeping organizations have played a major part in shaping up the geo-political landscape of the current world. They started with the creation of Israel as an independent state when they played peace keepers when the cease fire was declared between the Israelis and the Arab states. This peace keeping force still remains to this day. The United Nations is constantly trying to bring nations together for talks and it always tries to resolve issues through diplomatic channels. This follows the core nature of the United Nations.
However sometimes it is not enough and in those instances, the Security Council may involve the military UN forces to intervene to prevent a situation from escalating out of control. A good example of this is the Korean War in 1953 which ended in ceasefire. The United Nations kept the situation from escalating by positioning its forces along the southern side of the demilitarized zone till 1967. Often times, the United Nations mandate is followed through by other organizations. There are a lot of factors which are to be considered before such a proposal can be actively sought by nations.
Unity among nations is the prime requirement for such an option to be considered and unfortunately that is the one thing that the world is in dire need of right now. 9. I believe that a single system of laws is the best way to solve all conflicts peacefully, however due to the myriad cultures and religious influences, such a state of being is simply not possible at the time being. I believe that humans poses the same traits irrespective of their country, religion or race and they should not be divided based on geographical territories. Only when all individuals are united together for the betterment of humanity, can we propose a single set of legal doctrine to govern ourselves. Another issue is whether the international laws can override the national laws governing a nation. As of now, that scenario cannot be seen anywhere. Another important factor that has to be kept in mind is the fact that the international laws must develop a doctrine that is impartial and promotes equality to all the different sectors such as religion, gender, human rights and it must be acceptable by the people all over the world.
Only when such a system is in place can the same set of rules be applied to all the people worldwide. However such a system is not even conceivable. In fact, in the case of certain countries, recently there is an issue regarding the banning of the ‘burqa’. Now, according to the international laws, people have the right to practice their own faiths along with their traditions and customs. Unfortunately countries which are part of the United Nations have banned the use of a burqa in public by women. This is a clear case in which the national law has overruled the international laws. Therefore international law should be allowed to control a state’s conduct towards its citizens only when it is modified and accepted by the general people. However, there are instances where the international law has prevailed to certain extent over national laws.
This can be seen in the case of the recent verdict by a court in Iran, which has imposed a punishment of death by stoning. This is the worst case of human cruelty and it is one instance in which the international laws put enough pressure to make Iran change its verdict. This can be considered a small victory.
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