section 1 Definition and kinds of international law International law is the body of rules and general principles that nations are expected to observe in their relation with one another. Some international laws results from years of custom, others originate in general principles of law recognized by civilized nations. Still others have been agreed to in treaties or determined by judicial decisions. Many of the customs of international relations have existed for hundreds of years . For example , the ancient Greeks protected foreign ambassadors from mistreatment , even in war time. For about 2000 years nations have given ambassadors similar protection.
Kinds of international law The rules of international law are generally divided into: 1-Laws of peace. 2- Laws of war. 3-Laws of neutrality. Peace is considered the normal relationship between nations.
1-The laws of peaceThe laws of peace define the rights and duties of nations at peacewith one another.Each country has a right to existence, legal equality, jurisdiction overits territory, ownership of property , and diplomatic relations withother countries.Many of the laws of peace deal with recognizing countries asmembers of the family of nations and recognizing new governmentin old nations.Most governments are recognized -de jury- that is, as rightfulgovernments.Under unsettled conditions, a government may be recognized-de facto- that is, as actually controlling the country , whether or notby right.
2- the laws of war For example, undefended towns ,called open cities, must not be bombarded . Private property must not be seized by invaders without compensation. Surrendering soldiers may not be killed or assaulted and must be treated as prisoners of war. All the laws of war have been violated repeatedly. In war time, nations fight for their existence , and it is not always possible to get them to follow rules. Each nation does its best to destroy its enemy, and it uses the most effective weapons it can find.
3-The laws of neutrality Under international law, the states are forbidden to move troops across neutral territory . Neutral water and ports must not be use for naval operation.
The International Criminal Court (French: Cour Pénale Internationale; commonly referred to as the ICC or ICCt) is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression ) The courts creation perhaps constitutes the most significant reform of international law since 1945. It gives authority to the two bodies of international law that deal with treatment of individuals: human rights and humanitarian law.
After legislative body passes a law for a nation or a state , police enforces the laws and people who break them are tried in courts. However, there is no international legislature to pass rules that all nations are required to observe , neither is there an international police force to make countries obey international law. As a result, it is often difficult to enforce international law.
International law are often classified in three groups, according to how many nations accept them : 1-Universal international law includes the rules accepted by all nations as part of international law. These rules cover such items as the safety of foreign ambassadors and each nations jurisdiction over the air space above its territory.
2-General international law includes rules accepted by the majority of countries, especially those that are most powerful. One law of this type is the rule that each nation has jurisdiction over its territorial water. 3-Particular international law , includes agreements between two or among a few nations, such as trade treaties.
Section 3The internationalprotection of human rights
The idea of international human rights One of the most striking developments in international law since the end of the second world war has been a concern with the protection of human rights. This development is the reflection of a wider phenomenon: the increased concern of people all over the world with the treatment accorded to their fellow human beings in other countries, particularly when that treatment fails to come up to minimum standards of civilized behavior. Legal rules are a reflection of social standards and the current interest in the international protection of human rights is the result of a profound change in individual and governmental attitude.
The first half of the ninteeh In the second half of the centry twentieth century • we are witnessing the development• saw a similar development of international legal rules when the abhorrence of slavery prohibiting many other forms of led to the acceptance of legal cruel or oppressive behavior. rules prohibiting the slave trade • Genocide is a prominent example , and then the institution of other are arbitrary arrest, slavery itself. detention without trial , political executions and torture.
The fact that violation of human rights continue to occur does not mean that attempts to prevent them by international action are pointless. Widespread violations of human rights show that the attempts to provide international protection are not as effective as they ought to be and that a great deal remains to be done to improve the existing international procedures. But in order to improve them we need to know what they are and how they function.
The protection of human rights through international action is a revolutionary idea and traditional international law had no place for it at all, because international law is concerned solely with the relation between states and cannot confer rights on individuals. We are at present in a process of transformation to make the fundamental rights of the individual a matter of international law, with international remedies available if those standard are not respected.
Today the protection of human rights has a place in international law which it never occupied in earlier times and there is a widespread recognition of the need to render the system of international protection more effective. A realistic view involves recognizing that there are more countries in the world today where fundamental rights and civil liberties are regularly violated than countries where they are effectively protected.