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Analysis of International Law - Essay Example

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This essay discusses the different theories of international law. The essay analyses the philosophy of John Austin about international law. The essay considers the question of diplomacy, arbitration, and conciliation in arriving at an equitable outcome for all parties…
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Analysis of International Law
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Download file to see previous pages This underlying principle of international law is however opposed to the positivist theory of law that was advocated by John Austin, in which the existence of a sovereign body that formulates laws actionable within a particular jurisdiction is a vital element. Natural law theorists who focus upon morality may offer better scope for international law since morality can form a basis for consensus among all nations. Similarly, American jurisprudence advocates law as a decision-making process that also incorporates the social and political context, hence it may be more applicable to the consensual framework mandated in international law.
Westlake defines international law as “the body of rules prevailing between states”2 According to Jennings and Watts, such rules of international law are “legally binding on states in their intercourse with each other.”3 In modern times, however, the scope of international law has expanded beyond the mere relations between states, into the sphere of individual international obligations and international rights. The United Nations has evolved as an international body that carries out the function of governing relations between individual states. In 1949, the International Court of Justice clarified the role of the United Nations as “a subject of international law and possessing international rights and duties..”4 International law is enforced mainly through withdrawals of international rights and privileges5 and in extreme cases, through the use of force.6
As a result, modern international law can no longer be defined solely as the body of rules governing the relations between states. As articulated by Jenks, the scope of international law “represents the common law of mankind in an early stage of development, of which the law governing the relations between the states is one, but only one major division.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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