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International Law: Formation History


International law also referred to as public international law is concerned with regulating affairs and activities between different countries as well as the procedures that regulate international institutions like the United Nations. International law also checks how the state protects individuals as well as international associations or partnerships. It deals with several issues including human rights violations, international trade, refugees, international communications, and environmental issues. Additionally, it deals with issues of preserving global peace and security within the states, regulating the use of force, control of weapons, and resolution of disputes within nations. (Holetzky, 2003)

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The start

International law was in existence in the middle Ages however, most of its foundations started to be developed in the 19th century. The II world war and League of Nations that were experienced in the 20th century formed the base for the present international law. Later, the League of Nations was changed to United Nations, which has contributed a lot to the growth of many non-compulsory standards including the General Declaration of Human rights. Various other international standards have been developed by way of international agreements. An example of this is the Geneva Convection that deals with weaponry conflicts, the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, UNESCO as well as the International Monetary Fund. These developments have had a great impact on maintaining international relations. (Malcom, 2003)

The main sources of the international law

Customary and convectional laws are the main sources of international law. In customary international law, the states carry out certain procedures constantly due to certain legal requirements. The convectional international law comes from international agreements and in most cases acquires the structure that the involved parties agree with. These agreements are acceptable as long as they follow the rules of international laws that include following the rules of basic international conduct and the duties of a member state under the Charter of United Nations. Customary laws and other laws that are formed through international agreements have the same legality as international law. (Ouellet, 2004)

There is no government or international organization that enforces international law. The job of the United Nations is to pass measures on how the international law is implemented and enforced. In the situation where the international environment is constantly changing or when the states overlook some aspects of the law, the model may be able to change depending on the notions of the international law. (Malcom, 2003)

The states are supposed to adhere to the standards of international law and conduct themselves well to respect their responsibilities. When a state breaks the rules, the solution is that negotiations take place, and the offending states bear the consequences of spoiling their reputation. The states may also solve the problems through disconnection of economic or diplomatic ties against each other. (Malcom, 2003)

In other situations, domestic courts may give judgment against a foreign state for breaking a rule. However, this is complex since international law crisscrosses with domestic law. The states have a right to defend themselves unless the Security Council decides to bring peace between them. In the case of international bodies, the abuse of the UN Charter by the members of the United Nations is taken to the General Assembly for discussion and they, in turn, make recommendations. They have the mandate to authorize the use of force when a body breaks the rules. (Ouellet, 2004)


International law was formed under the classical ideas of law in national legal systems. International law is based on the fact that the involved states and organizations must be able to adhere to and uphold the obligations in the model. This is important to create conducive environmental relations in different states. In this way, many international economic and social activities will be possible and hence help improve development in our world.

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References list

Holetzky, s. (2003). What is International Law? Web.

Malcom, N., (5th Ed.). (2003). International Law. Cambridge University press. Print.

Ouellet, J. (2004).Enforcement Mechanisms. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "International Law: Formation History." November 5, 2021.


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