What exactly is law, and how is international law conducted? Law is a set of commands, rules, and regulations that are set to govern a particular society. These commands should be communicated from one person to another to ensure that each and every person has a clear understanding. They are usually authoritative and are issued by an individual, body or an institution. International law on the other hand entails a set of commands widely accepted among nations to govern their activities e.g. international law on pollution that restrict certain acts among all nations that may lead to environmental pollution.
Sources of International law
Sources entail material and processes through which rules and regulations governing a specific society are developed. They have many factors that influence their development process ranging from political, social, and economical theories. These factors include:
1. The Statute of the International Court of Justice
According to article 38 of the statute that states that, the court should apply the following in deciding dispute-settling measures
– The international conventions that entails establishment of rules that are well recognized by all contesting states
– The international customs to represent the general practice and conduct usually accepted as law
– All general principles recognized by civilized nations
– The judicial decisions of qualified publicist of the various involved nations
2. Conventions and treaties
Treaties are agreement between two or more nations on particular procedures. They cover a wide scope of human life ranging from political, social, economic, and family issues. Signing of a treaty shows that the state accepts to comply with the treaties provision in good faith. They are usually voluntary undertaking which signify being bound to a commitment and creating reliance interest to related parties.
3. Customs as source of international law
They are accepted if; the behavior is widespread among states, practices are followed for an insignificant period, and if practitioners as required by law. They are many problems in deciding whether the customary law is widespread among states or has sufficient duration in time. This however requires that the application of customary law be tested to reconcile the universality of rights and obligations among states.
4. General principles of law
It is intended to incorporate the principles of law, which states that wrongs should have consequences, defendants, and claimants. They state that, whoever does wrong have the right to defend them. Therefore these principles are brought together to form a commonly accepted law.