today? are often seen as an ideal of freedom,

today?

 

States
of the world, with completely different political and economic backgrounds,
have formed a true community and a society that needs standard rules for its
orderly development. With the globe getting smaller, and with increasing
contacts and intensified relations, obligatory rules become even more necessary
for the promotion of international cooperation and development and therefore
the shunning of chaos and conflicts. The absence of rules is a request to
lawlessness.

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Just
as individuals could not live together in a society without laws and customs to
control their actions, States could not have mutual interactions without usages
and conventions to manage their conduct. International law executes state
sovereignty by creating new edifices for regulating relations across
international boundaries. They produce principles for governing international
relations that contend with the core realist principles of sovereignty and
lawlessness. International law derives not from actions of any legislative
branch or other central authorities, but from traditions and agreements signed
by states.  It conjointly differs within
the problems of enforcement, which depends not on the facility and authority of
central government but on reciprocity, collective action and international
norms.

International
law is thus a body of rules established by a custom or written agreement and
recognized by nations as binding in their relations with each other. it is
merely a collection of rules that countries follow in coping with each other. World
peace on the other hand are often seen as an ideal of freedom, peace, and
happiness among and within all nations and/or individuals. World peace is an
idea of universal non-violence by which nations volitionally collaborate,
either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that forestalls
warfare.

Kelsen
believed that world peace could obtained only through the effort by laws recognised
and agreed upon by the world’s nations. In his book, Peace Through Law, Kelson
borrows from Kant the ideal of perpetual peace and the federalist model, and in
addition to this, the idea of a ‘Weltburgerrech’, a global citizenship in reference to the entire human species.1 He,
Kelsen, believed that in order to gain this world peace being talked about, there
must be a global authority to resolve international disputes and in turn led to
the attainment and maintenance of world peace. With that said, International
Law plays a huge role in the attainment of global peace when the need arises. It
is through the efforts of international law key players and agents, such as the
United Nations and other regional bodies, that most inter-state conflicts are resolved
before anarchy ensues. This is not to say that there is in absolute no trace of
conflicts between some countries. However, these conflicts are better managed
and often fixed by the efforts of agents of international law.

This
paper will prove that that international law and all of its components are
indeed relevant to this days in the attainment and maintenance of world peace
and global order. This paper will also do well to pinpoint the roles that
international law plays to achieve this and how the absence of the efforts made
can lead to global anarchy rather than the peace so desired.

 

Sources of
International Law

To
fully understand the role of international law and its relevance to world
peace, it is best that its origin and sources are outlined. International law has
several sources, some of which include; Treaties, International Customary Law,
General Principles of Law, Judicial Decisions and the Decisions of International
Organisations. Some of the sources of international law contribute to its relevance
in the conservation of peace and order today as they involve, agreements,
practices and precedents between countries and by regional and sub-regional
organisations.

 

Treaties

A
treaty is an agreement generating binding obligations between subjects of
international law.2
Treaty compliance does not arise out of the threat of military action or
sanctions but from a nation’s desire to develop a reputation for keeping
cooperative bargains. Obeying treaties will identify a nation as a good
partner, making future agreements more likely. Accordingly, the adherence to agreed
upon obligations by the subject countries ensures global peace and order. Consequently,
the absence of which can result in even more global disorder and conflicts.3

 

General Principles of Law

Under
the statute of the International Court of Justice, this source refers to the
general values of law recognised by civilised nations. The United Nations elaborates
on these principles and maintains that they are “legal beliefs and practices
that are common to all developed legal system. “4 They
are theoretically similar to treaties and customary laws but in practice, they
are used mostly to close gaps left by treaties and customary laws.5
General Principles of Law are also useful in the maintenance of peace and
order. They aid in the determination of the pattern of International Law and
thus act as the underlying values and practices of International Law. In light
of this, these underlying values and practices in turn alter the way peace
negotiations in times of conflict.

 

Decisions of International Organisations

 International organisations make rules that
guide the operation of its activities as well as guidelines for behaviour among
its members. This therefore shapes the nature of interaction that takes place
between and among members of such organisations. With the increasing
interdependence of states, many scholars like Keohane and Nye are of the view
that this set of rules, principles and guidelines operated by international
organisations have become the grand laws for relations among countries.6 It
is evident that these decisions made by the international organisations, such
as the European Union and the African Union, go a long way to shape the way its
member states relate with each other. This in turn ensures global peace and order.

1 Hans Kelsen, Peace
Through Law (1st edn, Chapel Hill 1944)

2
Oji Umozurike, Introduction
to International Law (2nd edn, Spectrum Law Publishing 1994)

3
Robert J Delahunty and John C Yoo, ‘Peace
through Law – The Failure of a Noble Experiment’ 2008 106(923) Michigan Law Review

4 Christoph Schreuer, ‘Sources of International Law: Scope and
Application’ n/a 28(N/a) The Emirates Center for Strategie Studies and Research

5 Clyde Eagleton,
“International Law and the Charter of the United Nations” (1945) 39 The
American Journal of International Law 751

6 Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and
Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (1st edn, Little, Brown
and Company 1977)