Malcolm Order in this framework is not limited to

                     Malcolm
N. Shaw defines law as “that element which binds the members of the community
together in their adherence to recognized values and standards.”1 Thus,
law regulates the conduct and behavior of individual members in a community and
to an extent reflects the views and ideas of the people in the society within
which it functions. Switching the focus of law regarding the regulation of
individual citizens of a community, to that of nation – states, embodies the meaning
of International law. As such J.L Brierly defines International law as ” the
body of rules and principles of action, which are binding upon civilized states
in their relations with one another.”2 Thus,
International law aims to govern the relationship between sovereign states
“especially within the context of the laws of war, peace and security, and the
protection of territories.”3 The
perspective of peace within this context “denotes the prevalence of amicable
relations and mutual good will between the particular society and all foreign
powers” 4 and
also includes ” the quiet, security, good order, and decorum which is guaranteed
by the constitution of civil society and by the laws.”5 Thus
the mark of peace in a sovereign state could be weighed in relation to its
internal and external state of affairs. The maintenance of world peace
therefore signifies an uninterrupted existence of internal peace enjoyed within
a state and “the absence of war among member states of international society as
the normal condition of their relationship, to be breached only in special
circumstances and according to principles that are generally accepted.”6 The
context of world order represents the “patterns
or dispositions of human activity that sustain the elementary or primary goals
of social life among mankind as a whole.”7
Order in this framework is not limited
to order among states, since “states are simply groupings of men, and men may
be grouped in such a way that they do not form states at all.”8
Thus the maintenance of world order reflects the preservation of “order in the great
society of all mankind.”9
The relevance of international law therefore denotes, the “efficacy of
international law and institutions”10
in the international society. It is to be noted that by convention, the measure
of a world at peace and in order is usually assessed based on the presence or
absence of a World War. However past World Wars involved mostly European and a
number of Asian countries, which was not a true representation of war amongst
all the nations in the world. Therefore technically the world wasn’t at war,
though majority of the countries not directly involved were under colonial
rule. Nevertheless the art and act of war, threats and conflicts among
societies have changed in recent times. Now “the most serious and acute dangers
to world peace currently emanate from the existence and/or proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction, as well as terrorist Islamism combined with
failing states, criminal and dictatorial regimes.”11The
focus of this paper will thus center on the reasoning that, International law
has been relevant in the maintenance of world peace and order in light of the
prevention of another World War and the resolution of certain conflicts. However,
its role in the maintenance of world peace and order today has not been very
significant.

 

                  Article 38 Chapter II, of the Statute of The
International Court of Justice (ICJ), lists four primary sources of international
law. The first includes International conventions or treaties, which are ”
formally concluded and ratified agreement between states.”12
International conventions are recognized as a source of international law since
they involve agreements dealing with the manner in which nations or States relate
with each other. An example is the Treaty of Versailles. The next involve International
custom or Customary International Law (CIL), which “results from a general and
consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal
obligation.”13
These comprise rights not limited to the prohibition of acts of genocide,
slavery and torture.14
In addition are the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations,
which constitute “certain common themes that run through the many different
orders”15
in the world. These common elements encompass processes of “procedure, evidence
and the machinery of the judicial process.”16
Lastly, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified
publicists, the ICJ or other international organizations “refer to domestic judicial
decisions of the various states as well as scholarly articles from the
international community.”17
The need arises where the application of international law is inadequate for
the resolution of issues.

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             Traditionally, states have been regarded as
the primary and original subjects of international law. Subjects of
international law are entities that “possess international legal personality,
or the legal capacity that conveys certain entitlements and obligations arising
from international legal rules.”18
Therefore states have the legal capacity to undertake actions in the
international field. The participants of International Law involved in
its administration and development are not limited to only states, but also
include ” international organizations,
transnational groups, multinational corporations, private associations, and even
the individual person.”19

            In order to understand how world peace and order
can be maintained, it is imperative to identify the goals and objectives of international
law. Then subsequently examine how participants of international law succeed or
fail in the achievement of these goals. In practice, international law seeks to
promote global peace and security among nations through the provision of a
healthy global environment for all. Thus the application of international law
must be assessed in relation to three basic functions; rule making, enforcement
of those rules, and the resolution of disputes arising from the application of
those rules.20

     

                Over the years, international law has been
used as a tool to combat conflicts and wars throughout the world. This has been
seen through the establishment of the League of Nations after WW1 and currently
with the United Nations after World War II. According to Article 1 of the U.N
Charter, the main aim of the Unite Nations is “to maintain international peace
and security.”21
As the most prevalent international organization, it is tasked with the
responsibility for the development and administration of international law. International
law and the United Nations have together played a major in the prevention of
another world war and the resolution of certain conflicts that existed between
States. Prominent cases in point include the ICJ’s decision in NICARAGUA v
UNITED STATES 22,
where the court held that self defence was “insufficient to support the U.S.’s
military intervention and use of force in Nicaragua, holding the U.S. breached
its duty under international law not to infringe on a State’s territorial
sovereignty.”23 In
addition, the U.N. through international law and operational strategies have
“helped end conflicts and foster reconciliation by conducting successful
peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries, including Cambodia, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Mozambique, Namibia and Tajikistan.”24

 

                However,
the art of war has changed in recent times. Conflicts, threats and attacks
among states now originate from terrorist and cyber attacks, nuclear threats
and dictatorial regimes that infringe on citizens human rights. Thus in today’s world, the underlying principles
of international law are embedded in “values of liberalism-the rule of law,
capitalism, democracy and an emphasis on human rights.”25
These values are embodied in “the realization of states that rules and
procedures are needed to regulate day-to-day interactions to produce order and
stability in the international system.”26Due
to this, international law plays a role in the regulation of health,
employment, communication, technology, commerce, etc. However despite these
advances, majority do not experience its benefits. Hence, this generation could
be best described as “one of great wealth achievements within an increasingly
war-like environment for much of the world.”27

                These achievements are often centralized
and enjoyed by the superpowers of the world, while war-like environments remain
a reality for the rest of the world. This is due to the fact that ” as
improvements in communications and weapons technology have increased, the
frequency and barbarity of systematic abuses of fundamental rights have
likewise escalated.”28
Yet, “the growing economic interdependency within this international law
framework, however, has not resulted in a panacea to cure all of the world’s
ills.”29
 As a result, poverty is still endemic in
majority of the worlds population; “war continues to rage through parts of the
world, bringing devastation and misery to citizens of many countries”30;
and pollution and environmental destruction “threatens the health and welfare
of much of the worlds’ population.”31
These ill consequences are out of tune with the goals of international order,
which include; the preservation of the system and society of states,
maintaining the independence or external sovereignty of individual states,
peace and the limitation of violence.32
The result is a world in which order, to an extent, is seen and mostly
experienced by a select group of states. Consequently, critics often assert
that “international law has done a fairly good job of ensuring these benefits
for the inhabitants of wealthy countries, and now seems dedicated to extending
and preserving the privileges of those countries, especially in the areas of
business and the environment”33
It is thus imperative to understand that international law as a tool for the maintenance
of world order should not be limited to order for a select group of wealthy
states, but should involve order for all in the world.

           Furthermore, the absence of war within and
among States is an ideal objective for any governing authority. However, peace
in the international society is viewed “as a goal subordinate to that of the
preservation of the states system itself, for which it has been widely held
that it can be right to wage war.”34
In addition to this, peace is viewed “as subordinate also to preservation of
the sovereignty or independence of individual states, which have insisted on
the right to wage war in self-defense, and to protect other rights also.”35
It is therefore evident that, States place more importance on their
“independence and the continued existence of the society of states itself which
that independence requires; and for these objectives… they are ready to resort
to war and the threat of war.”36
In relation to international law, the implementation of the phrase “peace and
security” outlined in the Charter of the United Nations indicates the priority
of security in international society. According to Article 51 of the United
Nations Charter, nothing shall impair “the inherent right of individual or
collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the
United Nations.”37
Hence, where the requirements of security conflict with those of peace, peace
will not necessarily take priority.38
 A case in point involve the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, where the U.S “proclaimed the attacks as an act
of war, and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1368 recognized the right to
individual or collective self-defense against Afghanistan because the country
allowed Al-Qaeda to flourish in its territorial bounds”(43) Therefore, thought
the international legal system questioned the legality of the United State’s
armed response to the attacks, nothing could be done to stop them from taking
such action. In effect, international law as a tool for the maintenance of world
peace becomes problematic since it places more priority on security at the
expense of peace.

    

 

 

 

              In conclusion, international law has been
instrumental for the prevention of another world war and the resolution of
certain conflicts between States. It is indeed also admitted that, the
contribution of international law in current world issues and affairs offers
some value compared to having no law at all. However, a major bane in its effectiveness
stems from the difficulty with enforcement of its rules. As such maintaining
order in the world becomes a challenging concern, as threats and conflicts
among States continue to develop. In addition, the subordinate nature of peace
under international law, indirectly paves way for States to resort to war under
the guise of self-defense at the expense of peace. In essence, international
law as a tool for the maintenance of peace and order serves as a double-edged
sword, with its sharper edge cutting deeper into the wounds of those not
directly benefiting from its purpose.

1 Malcolm N Shaw, International Law (6th
edn, Cambridge University Press 2008), p.1

2

3 Kelly Vinopal, ‘Researching Public
International Law’ (asil.org, 2015)
accessed 1
January 2018.

4 ‘What Is PEACE? Definition Of PEACE (Black’s
Law Dictionary)’ (The Law Dictionary)
accessed 1 January 2018.

5 ‘What Is PEACE? Definition Of PEACE (Black’s
Law Dictionary)’ (The Law Dictionary)
accessed 1 January 2018.

6 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), p.17

7 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), p.19

8 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), p.19

9 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), p.19

10 Jeffrey L Dunoff, Steven R Ratner and David
Wippman, International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented
Approach (2nd edn, Aspen 2006), p.960 ; Daniel Bodansky, The
Legitimacy of International Governance: A Coming Challenge for International
Environmental Law?, 93 Am. J. Int’l L. 596, 596-597 (1999).

 

 

11 Dr. Brigit Laubach, Prof. Dr. Ulrich K. Preuss
and Joscha Schmierer, THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN A GLOBALIZED
WORLD Security Policy Challenges For The International Order At The Outset Of
The 21St Century (Heinrich Böll Foundation 2004), p.3

12 ‘INTRODUCTION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS
OF THE CHILD Definition Of Key Terms’ (Unicef.org)
accessed 2
January 2018 ; These definitions are
adapted from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (8th edition),
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990 and United Nations Treaty Collection, Treaty
Reference Guide, 1999, available at http://untreaty.un.org/English/guide.asp.

13 Elihu Lauterpacht and C. J Greenwood, International
Law Reports (Cambridge University Press 2010), p. 554; Summarized by the American Law Institute,
Restatement of the Law, Foreign Relations Laws of the United States, 3d (1986),
102(2) and (3).

14 ANTHONY AUST, Modern Treaty Law And
Practice (1st edn, Cambridge Univ. Press 2000), p.257

15 Malcolm N Shaw, International Law (6th
edn, Cambridge University Press 2008), p.94

16 Malcolm N Shaw, International Law (6th
edn, Cambridge University Press 2008), p.95

 

17 ‘A GUIDE TO THE BASICS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW*’ (Law.georgetown.edu,
2018)

accessed 2 January 2018.

18 Christopher C Joyner, International Law
In The 21St Century (Rowman & Littlefield 2005), p 24

19 Christopher C Joyner, International Law
In The 21St Century (Rowman & Littlefield 2005).

20 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 5

21 ‘Charter Of The United Nations, Chapter I, Article 1’ (Un.org)
accessed
3 January 2018.

22 Annalise Lekas, ‘#ISIS: The Largest Threat To
World Peace Trending Now | Emory University School Of Law | Atlanta, GA’ (Emory
University School of Law)

accessed 2 January 2018. From; Military and Paramilitary Activities in and
Against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), Judgment, 1986 I.C.J 14.

 

 

23 Military and Paramilitary Activities in and
Against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), Judgment, 1986 I.C.J 14, ¶¶ 207-13
(June 27). Adapted from; Annalise Lekas, ‘#ISIS: The Largest Threat To World
Peace Trending Now | Emory University School Of Law | Atlanta, GA’ (Emory
University School of Law)

accessed 2 January 2018.

24 ‘Our Successes | United Nations Peacekeeping’ (Peacekeeping.un.org)
accessed 1 January 2018.

25 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 1

26 David P. Fidler, ‘WHO | 7. International Law’ (Who.int)

accessed 4 January 2018.

27 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 12

28 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 12

29 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 12

30 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John Cockfield, International
Law And Institutions (Eolss Publishers 2009), p. 12

31 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 12

32 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), p.16-18

33 Aaron Schwabach and Arthur John
Cockfield, International Law And Institutions (Eolss
Publishers 2009), p. 21

34 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), part 1, p.17

35 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), part 1, p.17

36 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), part 1, p.18

37 ‘Charter Of The United Nations, Chapter I,
Article 51’ (Un.org)

38 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (3rd
edn, Palgrave 2002), part 1, p.18