What is international law?
International law is the texts specifying the legal responsibilities of states in their dealings with each other, and their dealings with individuals within the framework of their national borders.
International law works on a wide range of international issues such as human rights, disarmament, international crime, refugees, migration, nationality issues, treatment of prisoners, use of force, war management, and other international concerns.
International law also regulates global commons such as the environment, sustainable development, international waters, outer space, global communications and global trade.
Respect for international law
The preamble to the Charter of the United Nations states that the peoples of the United Nations have taken it upon themselves to establish “the conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be achieved.” Therefore, the development and respect of international law remains a major part of the organization’s work.
The organization works in the field of international law through courts and multilateral treaties, as well as the Security Council, which has the power to deploy peacekeeping missions, impose sanctions and authorize the use of force in the event of a threat to international peace and security. Those powers stem from the Charter of the United Nations, which in itself is an international treaty that has the force of international law instruments to enforce and bind the Member States of the United Nations.
The charter codifies the main principles of international relations, starting with the equal sovereignty of the state and ending with the criminalization of the use of force in international relations.