Skip to main content

A Law, or not?

That International Law was created to bind civilized states is now an acceptable principle, for the realm it covers is the conduct of states with respect to each other in their interrelations. But what is a state? When is an entity fit to be considered a state? Is it necessary for other states to recognize a state for it to be one? How many recognizing states are enough to make an entity a state?
These questions strike at the very root of international law. It doesn’t help that divergent practices tend to colour our minds – while on the one hand, Andorra, Lichtenstein and Monaco are all deemed states, while Kosovo, Palestine and Scotland are not considered thus. It is hard to answer this – especially because of the role of vested interests and politics, two factors that obliterate the notion of anarchy and level-playing-fields in international relations.
International Law has often been brought into question – especially as to whether it is a law or not. No matter what arguments maybe advanced in an attempt to punch holes in its existence, the fact is that international law exists: whether in its observations in obedience or in its observations in breach, whether in that states try to justify their conduct in keeping with the law or its interpretation, rather than questioning its existence. That new ‘legal provisions’ under international law are a product of breaches of old ones, is not an acceptable basis to denounce its status as law. After all, human rights laws have evolved by breaching early practices that encouraged the violations of basic human rights, best examples being slavery and torture.  


One may argue that a body of legal rules can come into existence only when it is legislated by a legislative body, executed by an executive body and studied and interpreted by a judicial body from time to time. These elements are not entirely absent in international law. The UN makes for a fairly close attempt. The General Assembly is akin to a legislature. The Security Council, the executive wing, and the International Court of Justice forms the judiciary. In addition to this system are several other international organizations that handle different aspects of state conduct and streamlines them through a legal document (or more) of its own.
It may appear like International Law is a prerogative of those in power – there are states that participate in creating the legal order, but subvert it themselves. Though it may appear like this knocks the wind out of the sails of its status as a law, in truth, it remains to be a law – quite like how legislators aren’t necessarily obedient to the laws they make.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Use Of Human Shield In Kashmir – A Legal Analysis

A lot has been debated and written about the ‘human shield’ incident that happened on April 9, 2017, in Kashmir’s Budgam district. Farooq Ahmed Dar, a 26-year-old shawl weaver of Chil village in Beerwah sub-district was tied in front of an Army Jeep and allegedly paraded through several villages for nearly five hours.[1] The media, lawyers, politicians and even army officers have stark differences of opinion on the legality of the said incident.[2] Major Leetul Gogoi, who tied the victim on the army jeep was awarded chief of army staff’s Commendation Card for sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations.[3] This award was given pending proceedings before the court of inquiry into the said incident. On the other hand, the victim, Farooq Ahmed Dar approached the State Human Rights Commission against the reward given to Major Gogoi by the Army and separate petitions were filed before the National Human Rights Commission against the felicitation.[4] It is alleged that the actions of…

India's Role To Create a World Without Nuclear Weapons

[This article is written by our Empaneled Contributor Sarthak Roy] The UNSC (United Nations Security Council) recently passed Resolution 2371 to impose new sanctions on North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests and violations of UN resolutions. While 122 UN member countries are keen on a nuclear weapon free world, the nine nuclear weapon powers along with the 28 NATO nations chose to abstain from the adoption process on a Draft “Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (TPNW) on 07 July 2017. These countries reasoned that the Draft Treaty will not be able to address threats to the existing international security architecture by flagrant violators of international law. Their reference was primarily to North Korean nuclear weapon capabilities. Senior advocate of Supreme Court of India Harish Salve who represented the country at the ICJ in 2016 against the Marshall Islands justified New Delhi’s refusal to sign the NPT based on “enlightened self-intere…

Charting the economic and political repercussions of Neymar’s transfer

Last week and half, witnessed the long-drawn Neymar Junior transfer come to its conclusion. Yes, Paris Saint Germain finally got their jackpot, for a fee close to 220 million Euros, which would rise close to half a billion Euros with wages included. By the numbers being thrown around, if Neymar was a country, he would rank 206th in terms of GDP, ahead of Marshall Islands and Palau. In the soap opera that unfolded, Neymar’s record transfer fee from Barcelona was twice as much as the previous world record, set last summer when Paul Pogba joined Manchester United. With Qatar bankrolling PSG with its petrodollars, this post would analyse the economic and political ramifications that has shaken up the world of football in the aftermath of this deal of the century. Amidst all the hysteria surrounding the ‘moral hazards’ of clubs dizzying riches, this transfer has the possibility to recalibrate its intentions and responsibilities towards its supporters. 
Failure of Financial Fair Play
The Fin…