Legal Committee Overlapping Jurisdiction of International Law - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 3 varied nature of the peoples and governments that exist throughout the world renders it unthinkable – and undesirable – to establish such a hierarchy. It is not implausible, however, to propose certain guidelines by which nations might implement the laws they create so as not to contradict in overwhelmingly irreconcilable ways. Background As the forces of globalization and international conflict bring the world closer together, the laws that dictate the relations between states have expanded. Since antiquity, nations have established treaties and other legally binding agreements with their neighbors to maintain peace, divvy up contested lands, and establish a mutually beneficial flow of commerce. In modern times mass quantities of goods are constantly traded across the globe and increased military capacities further necessitate that nations work together to achieve stability. The increasingly transnational nature of crime, notably terrorism, has heightened the urgency for multilateral pacts which effectively resolve these issues. This theme is most clearly embodied by the establishment of the United Nations, the founding of which has spurred great growth in international law. International law consists of the rules and codes that establish the way countries interact with one another. 3 In many cases, international law is rooted in the unwritten and reciprocally accepted customs that nations employ throughout the course of their relations. Some of these principles were codified in a limited sense in the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties. Technically, there are two principal categories of international law. Public international law concerns conflicts that arise between two or more nations or a private citizen or citizens of one nation and another nation. In contrast, private international law involves disputes between private citizens of different countries where more than one nation is primarily involved. The distinctions between these 3 Legal Information Institute, “International Law,” Cornell Law School, http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/International_law#Key_Internet_Sources.
Rutgers Model United Nations 4 categories of international law are in many cases unclear and ill-defined, particularly when business and trade issues are in dispute. 4 Generally, international law applies to all nations except when such a law is contradicted by a treaty or domestic law. International law does not normally interfere with the governance of a nation’s lands or laws. International law does impose constraints on the treatment of individuals, and custom stipulates that nations must treat aliens, citizens of other countries, in accordance with international standards of justice should an explicit agreement with the alien’s home country exists. The nature of international law has expanded greatly in recent years. While the field was once dominated by a single monolithic set of general laws, as outlined in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, it is now becoming increasingly diversified. International Organizations International organizations are organizations set up by groups of states, and these organizations are often instrumental in developing and enforcing international law. Their membership is predominantly comprised of the states that establish it and subscribe to its authority under its founding. The United Nations is by far the largest and most powerful of these international organizations. Chartered in the aftermath of the Second World War, member states charged the United Nations with taking action to prevent future conflict between states and help to improve the lives by diplomatic means of people across the globe. One of the principal organs of the United Nations is the ICJ, which plays a prominent role in the realm of international law. Comprised of fifteen judges from different nations, the court is charged with ruling on a number of irresolvable issues between nations. Often, the ICJ hears cases which involve disputes between interpretation of the text of a treaty, or in the application of a treaty to a new set of realities. States that are members of the United Nations may submit such cases before the Court. The Court holds jurisdiction in cases in which both nations involved decide to 4 Ibid