International Law Seminar Report With PPT


  1. What is International Law?
  2. International law is a project in construction; it represents a long process of change from the foreign office system to a system of global governance since the end of WWI
  • Foreign office system – rules made by diplomats representing individual governments (this is still the basic framework of international law); manifestation of the positivist doctrine, which held that only states could be subjects of international law in the sense of enjoying international legal personality and being capable of possessing international rights and duties, including the right to bring international claims
  • System of global governance – sets out to accommodate the pervasiveness of global markets, political interdependencies and the advances of natural sciences and technology; reflects the necessity to address problems in an international framework; actors include private corporations or individuals, NGO’s, departments w/in each government besides the foreign office, among others
  1. Five major reasons for these changes:
  • Increasing role of international institutions – these institutions have a limited competence for governance; there is a lot of variability here for certain organizations (IMF) and circumstances
    • e., the ICJ – originally intended to resolve disputes b/t governments; Breard is an example of an individual’s rights being adjudicated before an international body (although, the government of Paraguay had to initiate the case); the case is couched in the language of Paraguay’s rights; compare the ICJ’s decision to Supreme Court’s, which expounds the rights of the individual vs. the rights of Paraguay under an international right
  • Normative importance of national democracy – premium has been placed on democracy as a key value; this privileges democracy over the ability of foreign offices to shape policy
    • e. Breard – in the conflict b/t an act of Congress and the supremacy of international treaties the Supreme Court considered legislation to be presumptively democratic over the treaty-making power
    • Contrary views
      • National democracy should favor the treaty-making power as a democratic process since international agreements are made under an international democratic arrangement; which is the more important value in national democracy – national or democracy?
      • States must also consider the boundaries b/t democracies, especially in federal systems (i.e., in Breard, Virginia did not bargain away its right to structure its criminal legal system); balance this concept w/the compromise states reach on reciprocity
    • Disaggregation of the State – the state is no longer just the foreign office; the international reach in negotiation by other departments (i.e., Defense, Treasury); in addition, federalism and separation of powers affects the power of the foreign office to negotiate and deliver on treaties
    • Development of trans-national civil society – national interest groups network w/national interest groups in other countries (i.e., NRA ) to facilitate their own national agendas (i.e., in Breard, the anti-capital punishment element of international interest groups interacted w/domestic groups)
    • Global liberalism – sentiment among states since the end of Cold War is that there is a better way of doing things  Western ideals of liberalism (the rule of law) has been normatively embedded into the international system; some could consider this a continuance of Western imperialism
  1. Conflict b/t Multilateral (EU) and U.S.-Dominated International Legal Systems
  • European Union – created through the traditional structure of an international treaty and the establishment of a European Court of Justice, imbued w/the supremacy of a European legal system; represents a multilateral mechanism in its formation
    • Coercion through force is not available b/c there is no unitary European military force; it is a natural extension for the EU to use global structures (multilateral institutions) as opposed to coercion
    • Although the goals of the EU may not be universally held by the global community, it has been more successful in garnering global support through this multilateral approach
    • Member states are more amenable to taking steps that have unknowable consequences b/c of the proscriptive nature of the EU
    • However, the idea of a “global community”, as espoused by the EU, is not very “global”; the ten most populous nations are outside the structure of the EU
  • United States – has more options for achieving international goals b/c of the availability of coercion by force (hegemony/dominance); this value conflicts w/the idea of a “global order”
    • S. is reticent to approach international law in a multilateral framework for a variety of reasons: the distinct American idea of popular sovereignty which underpins a particular idea of “national democracy”; constitutionalism and federalism create a distancing from internationalism; U.S. culture of legalism (scrutiny of legal agreements dissuades the U.S. from taking on commitments)
    • Although other countries (Brazil, China, India) seem to appreciate the multilateral approach of the EU, these same countries utilize the powerful voice of the U.S. to support their positions
    • Domestic Effect – U.S. uses its system of policy-making and certification to generate global policy-setting and to certify compliance by other states (i.e., drugs, terrorism, human rights, religious freedom, family planning); U.S. courts have also been used to effect global policy (i.e., ATCA); however, there has been no effort to do so for criminal accountability
    • International Effect – U.S. sanctions, economic aid and military pressure can operate in similar fashion to enact global change on issues
  1. Definitions – Akehurst’s
  • General international law refers to rules and principles that are applicable to a large number of states, on the basis of either customary international law or multilateral treaties; if they become binding on all states, they can be referred to as universal international law
  • Regional international law applies only to certain groups of states; regionalism tends to undermine the universality of international law, but it is an important existing feature of international law; particular international law denotes rules w/are binding upon two or a few states only
  • International law has often been described as a “primitive legal system” – although it is true that the impact of power and politics is much more immediately recognizable and directly relevant in international law and international law is heavily dependent on national legal systems for its implementation, this characterization fails to distinguish the different nature of international law (as a horizontal, decentralized legal system governing primarily the relations b/t states) and of developed (centralized and institutionalized) national legal systems


“International Law” Seminar Report

Page Length: 92 Pages


  • Unit 1: Introduction To International Law 
  • Unit II: The International Court Of Justice 
  • Unit III: Sources Of International Law: The Role Of Custom And Treaty 
  • Unit IV: Treaties In International Law (W/Extended Treatment Of Human Rights Treaties) 
  • Unit V: Limits Of National Criminal Jurisdiction 
  • Unit VI: Enforcement Of International Criminal Law 
  • Unit VII: Immunity And Act Of State In National Courts 
  • References

Include with “International Law ” PPT

Page Length: 24 Pages


  • Defining International Law
  • Sources of International Law
  • Objectives
  • Areas of International Law
  • War
  • Diplomacy
  • Human Rights
  • U.S. and Human Rights
  • Superpower Exceptionalism
  • Supranational Enforcement?
  • International Court of Justice
  • National Courts
  • The Court of Public Opinion
  • Realists are Right
  • U.S. and the ICC
  • References

Size : 1.33 MB 

Price :   ₹ 59/-

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