Meaning of International Law:
International law is formed through international agreements and treaties between various countries in order to avoid conflicts among the countries. Countries make binding and enforceable rules i.e. international laws in order to benefit their citizens by curtailing destructive conflict and maintaining peace, justice, trade, etc. While the laws of a country apply to its citizens, international laws apply to the government. It sets up an international legal network to be followed by the various countries that are a part of the agreements formed between them.
Sources of international laws
International laws are formed by combining various rules, treaties, etc. They are called the sources of international law as they form the basis of it. Let’s have a look at all the sources of international law.
- Treaty law: The written agreements that have been willingly signed and ratified by the different countries are known as Treaties and Conventions. The countries signing it are obliged to follow it. They mainly govern the mutual relationships between the countries and are also called statutes or protocols.
- Reservations, declarations, and derogations: Reservations, declarations, and derogations help in full application of treaties and clarifying specific legal content in them. They also help in increasing the number of signatories and ratifying treaties.
- Customary international law: Customary international law refers to all written and unwritten laws that combine to form the general concept around international justice.
Benefits of International laws
The international laws are not only enforced to mitigate the conflicts, but also to deal with some other issues of the society across the various countries. It helps in regulating and addressing these issues with the help of binding rules and agreements. They benefit the citizens of the countries in various ways such as:
- Human rights: The international laws help in monitoring the compliance of human rights across the countries. The international legal network lays down a framework regarding the human rights issues to be followed by every country involved.
- Refugee treatment: These laws define as to how a refugee should be treated. They lay down the rights of refugees. The international laws provide refugees with the right to safe asylum and every other basic right that is given to a legal foreign resident. It offers more than just the physical safety of the refugees.
- Prosecution for international crimes: The procedures and punishments for international crimes are decided under international laws. Under these laws, an individual can be held responsible and prosecuted not only for committing crimes but also for assisting and abetting the commission of war crimes or any crime against humanity.
- Arms control and agreements: Various limitations are put on the use and regulation of arms in and across the various countries with the help of international laws, in order to maintain peace and mitigate any risk of dangerous conflicts. Unsupervised use of dangerous weapons can lead to serious results and thus international laws are made to control the production and use of arms. These laws also allow action against the country/countries that do not follow the laws.
- Claiming new territories: Acquisition or claim over any new territory is governed by international laws. Any country or countries claiming possession over a piece of land will have to follow the guidelines and rulings laid down as per the international laws.
- Trade agreements: Trade agreements refer to the terms of trade agreed upon by two or more nations. International trade includes imports and exports but they are also affected by any kind of trade taking place in a country. The trade agreements decide the range of taxes, tariffs, and even investment guarantees.
- War prevention: International laws help in the prevention of wars against various countries. In case of any disagreements or issues, the involved countries are required to follow some protocols first, and then act as per the decisions made by the international law attorney.
- Environment prevention: The preservation of our environment is one of the most important things that we are all worried about. There are various regulations and guidelines under international laws to be followed by every country, in order to prevent our environment and keep it safe for our survival. Anyone breaking the laws has to pay penalties and face punishments.
- Prisoner treatment guidelines: The prisoners of any other country should be treated in a humane manner. The international laws provide the prisoners with the right to safety and prevent any country or countries to torture, insult or intimidate any prisoner, even for the prisoners of war.
- Regulating the use of common spaces: The common spaces and resources are to be used by every country in a responsible and decided way. There are rules for the use of resources like water and spaces like outer space. No country should stop or hinder any other country from the usage of these common spaces.
Laws are always beneficial if followed by the concerning parties in the best way. The international laws have been made keeping in mind the needs and benefits of every country and its citizens. They help everyone to survive in a healthy and peaceful world if followed properly and with full responsibility. Responsibly made laws make life easier for everyone.