International Law is a set of rules and principles of general application dealing with the way countries relate to each other. It is also the conduct of International organizations in their international relations with one another and with private citizens, transnational companies, and minority groups.
Subjects of International Law
A subject of international law encompasses anyone or an entity that has the capability of having international rights or duties and has the capacity to its rights by bringing international claims. States and non-States actors such as individuals and international organizations are subject to the international law (Beckham & Dagmar 2014). Additionally, multinational companies and international non-governmental organizations also fall under the subjects of international law.
The entities fall under the international law since they have an international obligation. They can make claims under the international laws in case they are reached. Additionally, they can enter into treaties and international agreements and enjoy certain privileges and immunities from the national justice system. However, States are the common players in the international Law (Beckham & Dagmar 2014). The Reparation for Justice Case has set out conditions that must be met for a state to gain legal personality under the international law.
International Legal Rights and Obligations
A state is said to possess the certain characteristics such as permanent population, government, defined territory, and the capacity to engage with other states. In this case, the state must be completely independent for it to be recognized by other countries. The International Law is created and implemented by the member states (United Nations, 2017). The Independent States are the only one who can become members of international organizations and most importantly members of the United Nations.
- International Organizations
The States through international agreements creates the internationally recognized organizations and their powers are usually limited to those stated in the conformity document. These organizations may enter into international agreements, which enable their representatives to enjoy certain privileges and immunities (Guzman, 2011). The international organizations have certain powers. For instance, the powers of the UN are stipulated in the 1945 United Nations Charter (Beckham & Dagmar 2014). It has certain obligations such as the human rights and economic issues that are discussed by the political organ known as the General Assembly. On the other hand, the Security Council has the responsibility of maintaining international peace and stability. Lastly, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has the powers to decide a dispute involving the International Laws (United Nations, 2017). Thus, the international organizations have various responsibilities, but they must operate under the International Law.
- Individuals and Transnational Companies
Private Citizens are not usually regarded as legal entities under the international law. However, each must be linked to the state to acquire nationality status. The states have the sole powers of determining a citizen.
Ships, companies, air, and spacecraft are recognized by the nationality of the State they are registered. The practice is significant to regulate their conduct, especially when operating outside their boundaries. If a national from State Y harms an individual from State X, State X can make a claim under the principle of the nationality of claims. It is known as the doctrine of diplomatic protection (Beckham & Dagmar 2014). Therefore, it is clear that the citizens and multinational entities are bound by the international law, especially when outside their boundaries.
International organizations such as the United Nations are enabled by the agreement signed by the member states. For instance, the United Security Council has been enabled to take legal actions against any member state that is experiencing violence. The UN Security Council may send soldiers to such states to ensure that they are peaceful (Guzman, 2011). However, they are usually limited since they cannot engage in war, but can only maintain peace. The ICJ under the United Nations has been enabled by the member states to solve contentious disputes among States.
Under the international law, the aircraft, ships and multinational companies are able to operate freely despite being outside their territories; however, they are required to abide by the set international laws and standards of a given state. States, on the other hand, have their right to operate within their internationally recognized borders and have their government. A given state enjoys sovereignty that allows the people to express their supreme political authority (Beckham & Dagmar 2014). No other state can exercise its powers over another state. Thus, the political independence enables sovereignty of a nation. In this case, sovereignty can only be transferred to another state by either the conquest or secession.
From the discussion, States, International Organizations, individuals, and multinational companies are subject to the international law. They are legally bound by the set rules and regulations. Thus, it is the responsibilities of each of the entity to operate under the stipulated laws or otherwise face the consequences. For instance, nations can only exercise their political power only within their territory and cannot rule over other States. Multinational companies have an obligation of ensuring that they rightfully conduct their business and do not harm its citizens or nationals of other states. The international organizations such as the United Nations have critical obligations of ensuring economic, social, and political stability among its member states. Hence, from the discussion above it is clear that international law plays a significant role in ensuring stability across the nations.