The Importance Of International Law

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International law is the “aggregate of rules governing relations between state…designed to safeguard their peaceful co-existence” (Shaw 24). It is a coalition of states who adhere to a set of values and principles. It is an evolving process of nuances, based on intentions and customs, or the consistency of a norm practiced by states. International law focuses on nation-states as entities of legal personality, differing from laws focusing on citizens, known as municipal law. International law is dependent on state voluntary participation, because it has no legislature, or “independent institution able to determine the issue and give a final decision” (Shaw 2). Therefore, international law is dependent on regulatory agreements agreed upon between…show more content…
Custom is a concept that is derived from treaties. In the early stages of international law, treaties were the only binging agreements between states, however custom has become a legally binding element on its own, known as opinion juris (Shaw 24). Custom is the consistency of a norm, value, and behavior practiced by a state. As such, these are the basis of international law, and they express the values and needs of the global society. The general principles of law are the principles expressed in the legal system. They include, but are not limited to, “justice, equity, and consideration of public policy” (Shaw 70). The general principles of law were created in case a determination or ruling was needed but there was no existing law to encompass the issue. The meaning of these laws are debated, but it is accepted by most that the general principles of law “do constitute a separate source of law but of a fairly limited scope” (Shaw 70). It is important to note that these principles are relevant to municipal law, as well, and are applicable to people and states as responsible entities. Writers are important in international law because they are the scholars who affirm the meaning of fluid concepts, such as general principles of law. This provides a relative agreement of a definition for an ambiguous concept. Ultimately, I would stipulate that custom is the most…show more content…
Tribunals are institutions that are used to enforce, when needed, international law. The Nuremberg Tribunal is cited as the first international criminal tribunal and is often considered the “true starting-point for international criminal law” (Shaw 186). This tribunal was used to assert that both individuals and states were culpable under international law. The rational used to justify this was the concept that “crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities”, meaning that the punishment of individuals is the only way to substantiate international law (Shaw 287). This set precedent for any one person, regardless of their place in their community or economic backing, to be punishable for their international crimes. International crimes and their definitions are the crux of tribunals, because one was implemented to admonish and persecute the perpetrators of the often heinous acts known as international crime. International crimes include, but are not limited to, torture, systematic culling, genocide, war crimes, treaty crimes, and crimes against humanity. The creation of tribunals is crucial because when dealing with such atrocious acts, we need a legal order to maintain our values, ensuring we do not adopt the vengeful acts that the perpetrators of international crime did. It is important to note that a tribunal is a significant example of the legitimacy
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