International law is also known as the law of nations. International law refers to the set of rules, agreements, and treaties that are binding among nations. The international law exists when two sovereign states come together in agreements that are enforceable and binding. Nations come together to make rules that according to them are beneficial for their citizens. International law promotes peace, justice, involves common interests and trade. It applies to the governments. It is necessary for each state government to follow and implement international laws. The laws of a country apply to its citizens and other people that are present in it. Although, it is a choice of the country’s governing authority to apply international law and to keep the agreements with other nations that are involved. The collection of laws that are accepted for governing the relations between states is known as International Laws. Majorly, there are three types of international laws. They are as follows:
The international law is classified into two branches as well. They are:
The collection of laws which are accepted by the countries that govern the activities related to trade, that both the parties engage in are known as international laws. These laws are developed to deal strictly with the problems and issues that may be of concern for the countries as a whole, rather than focusing on the individual rights that live in those countries.
The two branches of international law namely- jus gentium and jus inter gentes. Jus gentium is not a legal code or statute, but it refers to an accepted body of laws that keeps a check on the relations between two countries. On the other hand, jus inter gentes refers to the body of agreements or treaties that both the countries mutually accept.
A significant portion of international law is known as “consent-based governance”. In simple words, it refers that the state is not under any obligation to abide by the law unless it has provided permission to take a specific plan of action. Although, there are various other aspects of international law that are not based on consent, and need to be followed by the nations.
There are several issues that are addressed and regulated by international law:
The three types of international law namely- public international law, private international law, and supranational law are described below:
Public international law is the type of international law that deals with the nations and persons that get affected by those specific laws. Public international law concerns the following aspects:
1.1 Customary public international law, it involves regular state practices that depend on the jury's opinion. It means that an action is carried out due to the legal obligation to do so.
1.2 Globally established and accepted standards that keep a check on behavior.
1.3 Legal codes are converted into agreements that are known as treaties.
Private international law is different from public international law. In this law, private conflicts are governed between individuals, and not between the states. Private international law identifies the jurisdiction that has the authority to hear a legal dispute. Also, which jurisdiction’s law should be implemented according to the situation.
Particularly, corporations are commonly involved in private international law conflicts as they transfer their capital and supplies across international borders frequently. More likely a dispute will arise if the trade between two nations is carried out in abundance. For example, if a company operates in Canada and U.K., and if a legal dispute arises, then it will be the responsibility of the private international law to identify which country will have the jurisdiction over the dispute along with the law which should be taken into account when facts of the case are argued.
This will also help the organization to understand which branch to involve in the arguing case, be it the branch of Canada or that of U.K.
It refers to the situation where countries surrender their right to the court for making certain judicial decisions. The decisions are taken by the court that is appointed by the supranational law has the priority over the decisions taken by the national courts. An instance of the international law that follows the rules of supranational law is that which is shown by the European Union (EU), it is an organization that deals in international treaties and utilizes a supranational legal system. The European Court of Justice is above all the other courts that comes within the member states of the EU, according to the European Union Law.
International Criminal Law is a subsect of the public international law, it works to punish the people who commit crimes of severe nature that generally attack large groups of people. The crimes that are handled by international criminal law are given below:
It is important to understand the components first so that international criminal law can be understood. Firstly, the international law rules over the relationships between countries and the responsibilities of interaction among countries. Secondly, criminal law states what is and what is not considered as a crime, and the respective punishments are set up for the crimes stated. International criminal law integrates the two by having international law at its center, which tells the rules, and consequences similar to those that suffer by those who are responsible for committing serious crimes.
International tribunals are there to hear the disputes and violations that happen in international law. There are various international tribunals with varied authorities. Significant international courts include the United Nations Security Council and the International Criminal Court.
There are some international courts that exist on a permanent basis. In other cases, the member nations set up a tribunal for a limited time period to resolve a specific issue or conflict. A court may be set up to hear out the conflicts regarding a limited subject. While in other cases, a court might have general jurisdiction to listen to any kind of international problem or human rights abuse.
The main purpose of the United Nations Security Council is to promote peace among the nations. If it comes into notice that a nation has violated an international agreement or have acted improperly, they have the power to authorize sanctions. The Security Council is one of the organs of the United Nations. In the United Nations Charter, it is stated that its objective is to help each nation to get justice in international affairs.
The headquarter of the International Criminal Court is in the Netherlands. It is a forum that deals in the prosecution of war crimes, genocide and the crimes that are against humanity. It has been in existence since the year 2002. It deals with the cases that are referred by the nations, that do not wish to prosecute the case domestically. The United Nations Security Council can also be referred to for the cases. Court procedures are a combination of both civil and criminal law. An individual that is accused has mostly the same rights that an individual has if he/ she is accused of a crime in the United States. They have a right to a trial and also to have the assistance of a counsel. The defendant is presumed innocent unless they are proven guilty of the crime committed. It is essential for the prosecutors to prove the individual guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The main function of the International Criminal Court is to prosecute national leaders for violations of serious human rights. More than 100 countries are linked with the International Criminal Court. However, the United States, Russia, and Israel are not connected parties. The International Criminal Court can impose prison time but they do not have the authority to give the death penalty to anyone.
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