Importance Of International Law Is Not Law

920 Words 4 Pages
Introduction International law is not law. Law is defined as ‘a binding custom or practice of a community: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority’ . The aim of international law is to alter a states’ behaviour . Firstly, this essay outlines what a treaty is and what its purpose is. Secondly, this essay examines the principle of Pacta sunt servanda and consent. Pacta sunt Servanda is meant to bind states to their word, thus making treaties binding. This section demonstrates how Pacts sunt Servanda is not binding. Thirdly, this essay examines the problems with the current means of enforcing international law; such as collective action and sanctions. Treaties
Treaties
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A state giving consent to a treaty does not ensure their compliance, with that treaty . For example: the Portuguese Violation of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) . In 2004, Dutch authorities inspected the Women on Waves ' ship (a registered commercial vessel). Permission to sail to Portugal was granted. Portuguese authorities refused its entrance. Even though the ship, complied with all international regulations. This demonstrates that the violation of treaties does occur. If treaties were binding than a state would not violate it, as it would be bound by its obligations to the treaty. Treaties, therefore, do not meet the requirements of the definition of law. Furthermore, are not law.
Problems with Sanctions
There is no enforcement agency of international law . States take it upon themselves to enforce international law . States commonly use sanctions. A Sanction is “A penalty or punishment imposed for a breach of the law .” Under article 41 and 39 of the U.N Charter, the Security Council can impose economic sanctions . Thus making them a viable a legal method of enforcement.
However, sanctions are highly ineffective . The aim of international law; a sanction, is to make a nation state, change their behaviour . However, sanctions rarely work . For example, North Korea withstood economic sanctions and diplomatic exclusion, primarily from the U.S, in regards to the development of nuclear weapons. Another
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It does not meet the requirements of being binding or enforced by a single controlling body. Sanctions are ineffective at enforcing international law. Collective action is effective at enforcing international law. It is not, however, in keeping with the definition of law. According to the definition, a single controlling authority must enforce law. A collection of states is not a single authoritative body. Sanction are not effective and do not change a states behaviour. Although the principle of Pacta sunt servanda makes a state bound to their word, a state can chose to withdraw their consent. This can occur after signing a treaty. States can violate the treaty with no consequence. Therefore, international law is not law, as it is not binding, nor

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