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Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime Essay


At the end of the Second World War, one of the vital goals of the victorious allied powers was to make international law efficient to help uphold world peace. The unlawful invasions and killings perpetrated by the Hitler regime were so despicable that the temptation was immense simply to apprehend Nazi leaders and have them shot.

This, in fact, was an early British suggestion that possibly would have been approved by Stalin but it was not acceptable to the United States. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, war-crime trials were never intended as victor’s revenge over a vanquished enemy.

The leading juridical drafters of the trials, highly respected Justice Robert M. Jackson, on leave from the Supreme Court to become America’s Chief Prosecutor, re-affirmed the rule of law as he opened the trial before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg in 1945.

The four great nations, flushed with triumph and stung with damage, avoided the hand of retaliation and willingly submitted their captive enemies to the verdict of the law. The Charter of the United Nations proclaimed the goals of saving succeeding generations from the plague of war, promoting human rights, justice and respect for international law. The Nuremberg trials were a basis of the vast endeavor to make peace.

In Jackson’s observation, it was the high time for making war less attractive to those who held the fate of people in their authority and protect people from domestic repression, violence and aggression. This was aimed at making all men answerable to law and ensuring that those who start a war will pay for it in person.

Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime

The Role of Force

There is no integrated structure of sanctions in international law in the sense that there is in municipal law, but there are situations in which the use of force is regarded as justified and legal. Inside the UN’s structure, the Security Council perhaps may apply sanction after fortifying a menace to tranquility, infringement or act of belligerence.

Such permissions could be gainful for instance those declared in 1966 against Rhodesia, or armed action as in the Korean warfare in 1950, or certainly both, as in 1990 against Iraq.

Coercive power within the precincts of the UN is unusual, as it entails synchronization amongst the five lasting affiliates of the defense committee and this obviously demands an issue not considered by some of the grand authorities as bullying their crucial benefits. Apart from such institutional sanctions, one may note the bunch of rights in taking aggressive action known as self-help.

This procedure of resorting to power for guarding certain rights is characteristic of uncivilized system of law with blood feuds, but in the domestic legal order, such procedures and methods are within the restricted control of the recognized authority.

In such cases, the States themselves choose whether to take action and if so, the extent of their measures and there is no ultimate body to rule on their legitimacy or otherwise, in the absence of an assessment by the International Court of Justice, acceptable to both parties, although International Law does put down appropriate rules.

Since one cannot ascertain the nature of International Law by reference to a definition of law mediated upon sanctions, the character of the international legal order has to be examined in order to seek to and find out whether in fact States feel indebted to comply with the rules of global decree and if so why.

If indeed the response to the earliest query is depressing, that States do not think there is need to act in accordance with such rules, then there does not subsist any structure of global law creditable to the name (Pellet, 1992).

The International System

The importance of finding out depend upon the distinctive aspect s of the global structure in the sagacity of the system of affairs existing principally, if not wholly, between States that are aware of certain ordinary principles and ways of life.

While the legal structure within all but the most ancient societies is in pecking order and authority is perpendicular, the global organization is parallel, consisting of over 190 sovereign nations, identical in lawful theory, in that all posses the features of self-sufficiency, and distinguishing no one is in authority over them. Individuals only have the alternative as to whether to abide by the law or not.

They are never involved in designing the law (Warson, 1992). Particular institutions do that. In global law, conversely, the states themselves create the law and obey or violate it.

This evidently has substantial ramification with reference to the sources of regulation over and above the techniques for enforcing acknowledged permissible rules. Global law is mainly formulated by global contract, which generates rules binding the parties and customary rules, which are fundamentally State practices accepted by the community at large as laying down patterns of behavior that have to be complied with.

Conversely, it perhaps alleged that since nations themselves sign treaties and engage in action that they may not regard as legally mandatory, international law would appear to consist of a series of rules from which States may select (Berderman, 2001).

Converse to accepted principle, nations do obey global declarations, and desecrations are to some extent intermittent.

Nevertheless, just as incidents of assassination, burglary and rape do occur within national legal guidelines without destroying the system as such, so similarly assaults upon global legal rules highlight the limitations of the structure without condescending their legality or their requirement. Consequently, regardless of the exceptional nasty contravention, the gigantic immensity of the requirements of global regulations is pursued.


One cannot fail to notice the task of consent in global law. To identify its limits is not to disregard its magnitude. Much of global law is composed of states overtly in favor of definite normative standards, apparently by entering into treaties. This cannot be curtailed.

Nonetheless, it is preferable to consider consent as significant not only with regard to specific rules accepted, which is not the sum total of global law, but in the light of the approach of states commonly to the entirety of rules, appreciative, patterns of behavior and formations sustaining and representing the global system.

In an expansive logic, states accept or consent to the general structure of global law, for in actuality without such systems they could perhaps not function. It is this advancement, which may be illustrated as consent or the crucial summarize within which the stipulation of an individual state sanction is transformed into community acceptance.


Berderman, D (2001). International law in antiquity: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pellet, A. (1992). The normative dilemma: Will and consent in international law-making, 12 Australian YIL. Sydney: Butterworth.

Warson, J. (1992). State consent and the sources of international obligation: Pasil. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.

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"Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime." IvyPanda, 22 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/ineffectiveness-of-international-law-in-combating-crime/.

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IvyPanda. "Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime." March 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ineffectiveness-of-international-law-in-combating-crime/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime." March 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ineffectiveness-of-international-law-in-combating-crime/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Ineffectiveness of International Law in Combating Crime'. 22 March.

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