International law is a basic set of rules that countries follow when dealing with each other. International law consists of treaties, customary practices, justices and judges (jurisdiction), states being accountable for wrongful acts, human rights, war and peace. The goals of international law are to advance economic and societal expansion, as well as, strive to maintain peace and security within the global nations. International law use treaties and conventions to make rules binding in order to establish things like international trade and finance, initiate efforts to safe keep the environment, establish basic principals in an effort to create respect for human life, as well as, human rights (Viotti & Kauppi 2009) In addition, Viotti and Kauppi (2009) state, "Governments, being agents of the states they represent, contract when they sign and ratify treaties or international conventions to be bound by mutual agreement to the terms of these documents". Treaties are written conventions in which states formally establish laws and usually through ratifications will treaties bind only the states that have consented to it. It would be very difficult to have an international system with stable relationships among the states without international law. With the modern increase of globalization, international law is vital in having order among the states.
International law is effective in promoting stability in world wide affairs along with providing a guideline for states to cooperate with each other in addressing problems, thus becoming a key player in maintenance of global peace and security. It has also been effective in the area of global environment protection. Success has been seen in protecting the environment such as saving endangered species and cleaning up pollution. I believe international law works especially in matters to do with Laws of the Sea, International Aviation, time zones, radio telecommunications and with most instances dealing with International Border disputes. For example, the Convention for the Laws of the Sea establishes certain rights and duties for the nations to have access to the use of oceans, as well as business guidelines, and instruction on maintaining marine natural resources. Another situation that International Law is effective is its ability to represent those who are unable to represent themselves along with increasing the likelihood of peace and security among the nations. International law has been shown to be effective when dealing with conflicts among the nations.
International law has been under criticism because many do not see it as natural law and therefore doubts it even exists. There is controversy as to its ability to bind countries International law is ineffective when countries do not recognize and constantly violate its laws (Burney, N. 2007). Because International Law is no longer considered a law restricted to the area of foreign affairs and its duties, interpretation and enforcement are no longer obligated to the states consent, the law began to suffer with it validity. With this separation from state's consent, domestic accountability is becoming ineffective (Kumm 2004).
Brahm, E., (2003). International law. Retrieved on October 15, 2009 from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/international_law/?nid=1019
Burney, N. (2007). International law. Retrieved on October 14, 2009 from http://www.burneylawfirm.com/international_law_primer.htm
DiMento, J., (2003). The global environment and international law. Retrieved on October, 14, 2009 from http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/dimglo.html
Kumm, M., (2004). The legitimacy of international law: A constitutionalist framework of analysis. Retrieved October, 13, 2009 from http://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/5/907
Viotte, P. & Kauppi M. (2009). International relations and world politics. Security, economy, identity 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson