International legal systems. International law originated in the 16th

Internationallaw is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding inrelations between states .It based consent from the  governments and only applicable tostates,  this means that a state memberis not obliged to abide by this type of international law, unless it hasexpressly consented to a particular course of conduct because of statesovereignty. However, other legal norms such as customaryinternational law and peremptory norms are binding on states and non-states. Anaggression to   international peace andsecurity is conserved a threat to international law, therefore it requires the consentand collective security of world states to stop the aggressor.

The followingessay   examines and analyzes theexistence of International Law.  CLASSIFICATION OFINTERNATIONAL LAW International law canbe categorised into three, public international law which governs the relationsof states and international entities, private law which is about jurisdictionas well as supranatural natural law that involves laws of the states andsupranational legal systems. International law originated in the 16th century,and its founders are Alberico Gentile, Francisco de Vitoria and Grotius.There are two legal theories that are used to define, predict, explain and givebackground knowledge about international law; these are natural legal theoryand positive legal theory.    There are alsosanctions in international law. These are applicable to an aggressor inrelation with the nature of violation. According to UN Charter, Chapter VII  1945, any aggressor might face sanctionssuch as economic and diplomatic sanctions such as interruptions with rail air postalor sea for example South Africa and Rhodesia in 1969.

Moreover if an aggressorremains resistant, use of force is authorised for example resolution 678 passedby the Security Council on Iraq in 1990. SOURCES OFINTERNATIONAL LAW To conceptualize theexistence of international law, it is crucial to clearly understand the sourcesof international law. The generally accepted and formally recognised saurces ofinternational law are identified in the International Criminal Court of Justice,Article 38 ICJ STATUTE, article 38: international conventions, international customs,general principles of law as well as judicial decisions and scholarly works. Internationalconventions/treaties are contractual wtitten or codified rules that are bindingon all states.  They are multilateral treatiesmeaning that all states under the sun can ratify and sign these    treaties. The most important principle on conventionsin international law  is the act of goodFaith { pacta sunt  servanda} meaningthat states which sign a certain a treaty must keep the agreements of the  treaty .In the contemporary world  most states havesinged   international treaties  and have been seen conforming with the  requirements of these  treaties for example  all member states to the United Nationsare  bound by the United Nations Charter .

Treatiescan be broad and far reaching or specialized  agreements suchas  Fishery agreement  which are also easy to interpret .  Moreover international customsare also categorised as a source of international Law. These establish uncodifiedor unwritten rules that are binding on all states .They are general practise.If states behave in a certain way for a long time, the behaviour becomesgenerally accepted with the status law. Western international law though though not Islamictend to be positivist in the regard  draws actual customs like practical realitiesof such interest and the need for consent rather than abstract concept ofdivine or natural law.    Also General principlesof law define international law. These are principles that are recognised bycivilised nations.

  Actions like theftand assault recognised in most national systems as crimes tend to have the samemeaning in international context. For instance invasion of Iraq of Kuwait wasillegal considering treaties signed by Iraq  namely United Nations Charter and Arab League,beyond the treaty and custom  theinvasion violated international law because the general principle that no one state should  overrun its neighbour  or annex it by forceUnited Nations Charter, Chapter 1,Article 2  was violated. This general principle appliesto all sovereign states.  Judicial decisions andscholar work are subsidiary to the other sauces of international Law .Indefinition   they can be described as thewritten arguments of judges and lawyers around the world on the issues in question.

Only the writings of the most prominent .respected and qualified legal figureare considered and there are there only to resolve points that are not providedfor by the first three points.  INTERNATIONALORGANISATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW  In the contemporary world there has aneruption of international organisations that impinge on state sovereignty bycreating new structures for regulating relations .They limit the Principle ofnon intervention and the core realist principles of sovereignty and anarchy. Agood example is the United Nations. It has become a global arena for all member states by setting principles onfor states to abide  by ,thereby clearlydefining  goals, direct and indirectlobbying, giving expect advice  and providinginformation .The Organisation widened its scope and formed the  International Criminal Court  also known as the world court   ,which is a principal Judicial organ of theUnited Nations.

It clearly adjudicates to disputes rising in the United NationsCharter and most important the International law.  The International Courtof Justice in 1949 delivered an Advisory opinion14 in which it stated that theUnited Nations was a subject of international law and could enforce its rightsby bringing international claims, in this case against Israel following theassassination of Count Bernadotte, a United Nations official. Such a ruling canbe applied to embrace other international institutions, like the InternationalLabour Organisation and the Food and     AgricultureOrganisation, which each has a judicial character of their own. Thus, whilestates remain the primary subjects of international law, they are now joined byother non-state entities.  Many of thesewere created for reasons of military security, for example NATO and theopposing Warsaw Pact organisations, others as an expression of regional andcultural identity such as the Organisation of African Unity (now the AfricanUnion) and the Organisation of American States.  Such regional organisations have added to thedeveloping sophistication of international law by the insertion of’regional-international law sub-systems’ within the universal framework and theconsequent evolution of rules that bind only member states.

 In addition the UnitedNations passed the Human Rights Declaration In 1948 to govern the conduct andsecurity of every individual residing in any state that is a member of United Nations.The declaration clearly spelt out the fundamental rights and principles of all citizens.This shows observance of international Law. States mutually agreed on how theircitizens should be handled   and allcrimes against humanity to be an international offence. Today human rightsviolation has been condemned and there have been cases that has been handled .Forinstance Iraq former leader Saddam Hussein was charged by the United NationsSecurity Council with a crime of using chemical and biological weapons againsthis citizens as well the citizens of Kuwait in 1990.  ELEMENTS OFINTERNATIONAL LAW  States feel this necessity of internationallaw because it imports an element of stability and predictability into thesituation. Where countries are involved in a disagreement or a dispute, it ishandy to have recourse to the rules of international law even if there areconflicting interpretations since there is a common frame of reference and onestate will be aware of how the other state will develop its argument.

They willboth be talking a common language and this factor of communication is vitalsince misunderstandings occur so easily and often with tragic consequences. ,they are at least on the same wavelength and communicate by means of the samephrases.    Also the ViennaConvention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 further validates international law.   Article 53 of theconvention makes void all other treaties if there has been a violation ofperemptory norms jus congens. These jus congens are crimes against humanityhence they attract the consent of the international society as well as theworld court to intervene and protect citizens. The Nuremberg and TokyoTribunals set up by the victorious Allies after the close of the Second WorldWar were a vital part of this process.

Many of those accused were found guiltyof crimes against humanity and against peace and were punished accordingly The internationalCriminal Court ICJ has resolved a lot of disputes between nations in order tokeep their peace. One example was in1992 when the World Court settled a longstanding dispute between El Salvador and Honduras over a territorial disputealong the six stretches of border and territorial waters. The dispute hadresulted in a war in 1969.The world court drew borders that gave about twothirds of the land to Honduras and splitter the territorial water among theboth countries.  Both countries abided bythe decision.  Moreover in 2002 , TheWorld Court resolved a long standing dispute over an oil rich peninsula  on the Cameroon and Nigerian Borders.Following the considerations and interpretation of the provisions ,the World  Court then gave ownership  to Cameroon.Nigeria  being the powerful  state had not pulled out its troops  and in early 2005 the court ensured that negotiations continued on the implementation of ruler ship.

 However such a thing asinternational law is a cosmetic feature .It is there but not fully exercisedand exhausted. There various setbacks and questions on the existence of thislaw .Firstly there is no international police to enforce states to abide by thelaw. Enforcement of international law is more depended upon the power of statesthemselves, individually or collectively to punish an aggressor. It has no legislature.

  Moreover enforcement of international Law ishighly depended on reciprocity.  Mostlystates choose to follow International Law because they want other states to do so.For instance in World War II neither side used chemical weapons in the phase ofthe war because the other side could have responded by using chemical weaponstoo and costs would be high on both sides. It is because of the issue of powerthat forces other states to abide by international law, meaning other illegalactions under international Law may sometimes be considered legal if it was inresponse to the illegal actions of other states.

.    States quite often donot pursue one particular course of action which might bring them short-termgains, because it could disrupt the mesh of reciprocal tolerance which couldvery well bring long-term disadvantages. For example, states everywhere protectthe immunity of foreign diplomats for not to do so would place their ownofficials abroad at risk.

This constitutes an inducement to states to actreasonably and moderate An in-depth analysis onthe World Court shows one great weakness of allowing states to make a choiceregarding matters they can bring for jurisdiction. Article 36 of the ICJ Statute,”Optional Clauses” allows parties whether they want to give the courtcompulsory Jurisdiction over its current and future dispute but only a thirdhave signed it. Those signatories have furthermore added their own stipulationsreserving their rights and limiting the degree to which the Court can infringeits national sovereignty. In particular, United States’ of America   withdrew from optional clauses when it wassued by Nicaragua in 1986 over CIA, s mining in Nicaragua. Another good examplewas in 1979, when Iran refused to acknowledge jurisdiction of the court overits seizure of the United States embassy in Iran. Above all there is noexecutive or governing entity. The Security Council of the United Nations,which was intended to have such a role in a sense, has at times beeneffectively constrained by the veto power of the five permanent members (USA;USSR, now the Russian Federation; China; France; and the United kingdom).

Thus,if there is no identifiable institution either to establish rules, or toclarify them or see that those who break them are punished, how can what iscalled international law be law?  The range of topics covered by internationallaw has expanded hand in hand with the upsurge in difficulties faced and theproliferation in the number of participants within the system. It is no longerexclusively concerned with issues relating to the territory or jurisdiction ofstates narrowly understood, but is beginning to take into account thespecialised problems of contemporary society. Many of these have already beenreferred to, such as the vital field of human rights, the growth of aninternational economic law covering financial and development matters, concernwith environmental despoliation, the space exploration effort and theexploitation of the resources o. Many of these trends may be seen as fallingwithin, or rather reflecting, the phenomenon of globalisation, a term whichencompasses the inexorable movement to greater interdependence founded uponeconomic,     Communications andcultural bases and operating quite independently of national regulation. Thisin turn stimulates disputes of an almost ideological nature concerning, forexample, the relationship between free trade and environmental protection.

Tothis may be added the pressures of democracy and human rights, both operatingto some extent as countervailing influences to the classical emphasis upon theterritorial sovereignty and jurisdiction of state. The international lawis faced with a challenge on the time and method of introducing a new customsand rules into the already existing framework in order that the law willcontinue to be recognised as law. Changes that occur within the internationalcommunity can be momentous and reverberate throughout the system. According to (Malcolm,2008) given example, “The advent of nuclear arms created a status quo in Europeand a balance of terror throughout the world. It currently constitutes a factorof unease as certain states seek to acquire nuclear technology. Another exampleis the technological capacity to mine the oceans and the consequent questionsas to the nature and beneficiaries of exploitation.”  The rise of international terrorism hasposited new challenges to the system as states and international organisationsstruggle to deal with this phenomenon while retaining respect for thesovereignty of states and for human rights.

 Theprinciple of non intervention has also restricted international law accordingto UN Charter, Article 2 1945 reads 7,” Nothing containedin the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene inmatters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state orshall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under thepresent Charter;” makes   it difficultfor the council intervene in certain cases that require internationalinvolvement. Even if there is a clear violation of a principle the court’sjurisdiction is limited. For instance the President of Zimbabwe off therecord  it is believed that he  been involved in  much of the disappearances and killing ofopposition party  individuals duringhis  campaign and voting in 2008 andhe  denied the case  because the matter was of  domestic  nature. Why then do we have internationallaw?  CONCLUSION      In a nutshell,International law   might seem to be acosmetic feature but states see it as crucial for maintenance of the relations,dispute resolutions, advisory mechanism as well as a cohesion tool for statesto the good conduct of their citizens. However, international law is based on reciprocity,limited by states sovereignty, poor enforcement as well as optional clauses.

Though the existence of international law can be argued as evaluated above, itseems its available is and can be confirmed based on the information providedin this essay. Such a thing as International Law is there.