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Examine and Assess the View that Relationships between States Lack Order - Essay Example

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The international order of the 21st century is radically different from that of the period prior to end of World War II. In this essay, I will argue that the relationships between states lack order. States cannot be considered to be projected on an equal platform as some states are more privileged and bear more responsibilities compared to others. …
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Whereas the universal principle promotes the sovereignty of states, the rights that can be enjoyed by either state are not exclusive. One of the prominent aspects in the period before 19th Century was privateering as a chief means of perpetrating violence. A privateer refers to a hired pirate by the state. In mid 19th century, the popular notion concerning employment of privateers changed; the practice was considered as counterproductive. This marked the end of state sanctioned private violence characterized by a steady suppression of private forms of violence by sovereign states (Bromley 2009, p.398). Ever since late 19th century, international law as well as diplomatic custom and practice fundamentally shifted towards recognizing the rights of states to make war and peace. States can hold each other responsible for acts of violence commissioned by each other’s citizen abroad. Pirates are not only subject to territorial or national jurisdiction, but also universal jurisdiction. From 19th Century onwards, states imposed principles of jurisdiction grounded in territoriality and nationality (Hume 1994, p.154). Guiding Principles between States Universal jurisdiction infers the right of any state to prosecute crimes committed by whomever and wherever and devoid of reference to any connection to the territory or nationality (Bromley 2009, p. 405). Some of the crimes falling under the universal jurisdiction include piracy, slave trade, hijacking, war crimes, genocide, and international terrorism. Territorial jurisdiction, on the other hand, infers the notion that countries possess the privilege to sustain their own laws within their own territories irrespective of whether the offences against the laws are orchestrated by nationals or foreigners (Lowenheim 2007, p. 24). The aspect of territorial jurisdiction consolidates the statement that relationships between states lack order. This is manifested by the notion of being “home” and “abroad”. What may be legal in a country may not be expressly so in another. National jurisdiction refers to the principle where a state asserts the right to execute its laws to its nationals wherever they are located territorially, sometimes independently of the applicable laws in territories held by citizens. In this case, nationals may be charged at home concerning an activity they did abroad. This is informed by the fact that states claim and advocate the nationality principle as what is “home” or “abroad” is not a concise phenomenon with the distinction between the two remaining blurred. This exhibits a lack of order in relationships between countries (Malmvig 2006, p.80). The above principles of territorial, national, and universal jurisdiction often lack coherence. The relationships between states lack order. This is compounded by the tension between territorial and national principles and the principle of universality. The principle of universality can only hold where there is uniform agreement on what is to be proscribed and permitted. This is espoused by proscribed violations such as piracy, slave trade, hijacking, war crimes, genocide, and international terrorism. These violations mainly embody breach of widely accepted norms. Nevertheless, in many cases, other aspects are subject to legal regulation whereby states are widely reluctant to endorse the principle of universality arising from fear of undermining their own territorial and national interests (Lowenheim 2007, p.22). The UN represents the wishes of the international community and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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