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United Nations and International law Essay

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Updated: Aug 30th, 2021

Introduction

The following essay is concerned with the international relations that exist between various countries in the world. The essay examines as to whether or not the founding of the United Nations represent a radical departure from the system of international law and/or international society prior to 1945.However,it is important to determine the foundation of international law.

International law which is sometimes known as public international law refers to the law that is concerned withy regulating relations between countries. Human beings are social animals implying that they becomes civilizes as time passes by. During the past, human beings were not guided by any laws.

However, the civilization of mankind enabled man to come up withy principles that will be followed in order to ensure that there is order in the society.

The origin of international law can be traced back in the 6th Century BC when a North African ethnic group and the Carthaginians interacted by trading gold and other valuable commodities. The two communities exchanged commodities by being honest to each other and thus avoiding conflicts.

Interaction between states also occurred in ancient Eurasia whereby three independent states i.e. Mesopotamia, Nothern Island and the classical Greece shared a common regulatory system. There was cultural unity among the above three states and this facilitated the emergence of various standard practices of international law.

Studies by Emmerich de Vattel (1714-1767 ) and Hugo and Emmer(1583-1645 ) showed that the emergence of international law systems can be founded on the balance of power theory which is based on the principle that, states tend to join one another in order to restrain a state that is deemed to have gained excess power.

The United Nations emerged in 1945 with an aim of coordinating the states’ actions and to address the global issues such as peace and security. Before this period, there were devastating wars whereby many people lost their lives and thus the United Nations helped to turn around the situation (Collin & Collin, 2009, 102).

Founding of the UN

The Second World War ended in 1945 and all the citizens across the globe regretted the consequences of the war. They thus agreed that there should never be another war in the future as many people died during the war.

The US led other states such as the UK and the Soviet Union in an effort to unite all nations and to enhance peace across the globe and thus the UN was established as a result.Currently, the UN is an organization that is comprised of sovereign states and its headquarters are based in New York.

The role of the UN

The United Nations have been in existence for more than 50 years and its central function has been to maintain peace across the globe. The United Nations has played an important role of resolving disputes between the states, reducing tensions, preventing conflicts and also helping to end devastating wars.

Founding of the UN represent a radical departure of international law

The founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the international law. Before 1945, there existed a web of treaty and customary law that controlled the use of force. The United Nations charter ushered in a new era, and this made the international law prior to 1945 to be irrelevant. It is through the international law that the United Nations charter came into being.

Prior to 1945, the use of force was regulated by the principle of Just War. Studies by Grotious and St.Augustine established that, the Just War doctrine was based on the principle that it was illegal to undertake war unless there is a just cause. A just cause in this case referred to various circumstances such as right that is illegally denied or wrong done. Any war that was outside the above circumstances was deemed as illegal.

In the early 18th century, the emergence of nation state across Europe helped to change the direction of Just War doctrine.Firstly, the doctrine of Just War was refined in order to allow a state to conduct war if there is a Just Cause.Thus, there wasn’t any legal test that was objective in determining the right of a state to use force. By the mid eighteenth century, the sovereign right of resorting to war was adopted as the governing principle.

Every country was thus vested with the right of resorting to war irrespective of any reason. The international law played an important role of regulating the use of force even though it refrained from interfering with the right of state to pursue a war (Dixon,2007,310).

Despite these, the international law prior to 1945 did little in an effort to regulate states from using excessive force and hence the founding of the United nations. The United Nations imposed a comprehensive ban with regards to the use of force by the states which did not exist prior to 1945(Dixon, 2007, 310).

The use of force by states has been in existence since time memorial. For instance, human beings used violent means so as to persuade others to act in a certain way. As the states began to organize themselves politically, the use of force became the main form of interaction.

The international law did little to help curb the use of force by the states and thus, the forming of the United Nations in 1945 helped to address the situation. The United Nations acts so as to avoid the emergence of another world war. Since the forming of the United Nations, states have abandoned the use of force and another world war has not been experienced so far since the Second World War.

Before the founding of the United Nations, states were thought to have pre-emption rights in case of necessity and thus left no moments of deliberations.However, the adoption of the United Nations Charter allowed countries to act only in self defence.

This implies that the states cannot attack one another unless the United Nations security council authorizes such action and hence the founding of the UN was a radical departure of international law (International Law Commission, 2000, 39).

The founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the International law prior to 1945.The international law prior to 1945 did not have procedural normativity.usually; states found the process of forming a custom to be hectic as there were no clear guidelines on how to go about it.

On the other hand, the United Nations charter usually shares a constitutionally quality and the substantive laws depend mainly on the procedural rules. The United Nations charter is usually a normative constitution implying that it describes the political status of international community the way it should be.

The normative constitution of the United Nations charter has the role of governing the power conditions. Prior to 1945,constotutio was primarily understood in Aristotelian point of view i.e. as a means of concreting the life condtion.This founding of the United Nations changed this notion and thus the founding of the UN was a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945 (Sarooshi & Fitzmaurice, 2004,87).

The international law prior to this period was unwritten implying that, it was too slow to be practiced and hence the United Nations was formed so as to enhance the judicial processes.

Thus the international law required that the judges be familiar with international law of states and so an offence which is committed outside a country, required much time.Judges also experienced vagueness and imprecision problems as a result of the unwritten laws. The international law prior to 1945 also did not present some clarifications.

On the other hand, the United Nations assists member states in articulating the behaviors and norms which are written. The United Nations works in various ways so as to develop and promote laws around the sustainable development issues. The United Nations sponsors scientific research as well as publishing information that is critical to the development of policy.

The United Nations also sponsors a number of conferences in an effort to develop policies. In addition, the United Nations offers the member states training, work plans and consulting services. This thus has seen a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945 (Collin & Collin, 2009, 102).

The international law prior to 1945 was based on the general practice among states and so, it was almost impossible to analyze the practice of all the states across the globe and hence the emergence of the United Nations. The international law prior to 1945 limited the sovereignty of states as it required the states to create customs.

It required all the states to have adequate knowledge concerning the practice states and this was indeed impossible.However, the founding of the United Nations enabled most states to participate in global issues.

Also, the founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945 because it enhanced the sovereignty of nations because it provides a forum whereby, both the developed and the developing nations can interact effectively.

The founding of the United Nations General Assembly enhanced formal equality in that less powerful countries can express their views in an effective manner( Bederman, 2002,116).

The founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945 because it acts to prevent the crimes against humanity. At present, the United Nations functions to prevent and suppress mass killings. The United |Nations also responds militarily in many conflict situations particularly in a cases where the civilians are disproportionately victimized.

For instance, the Un has deployed more than forty peace-keeping missions in an effort to help end wars in such countries as Mozambique and El Salvador.Whereas,the United Nations humanitarian intervention aim is to protect a state’s citizens abroad, the interventions however helps in rescuing the citizens of target countries from suffering.

On the other hand, the international law prior to 1945 did not recognize the need for human intervention and thus the founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945.

Conclusion

The founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the International law prior to 1945. The international law prior to 1945 did little in an effort to regulate states from using excessive force and therefore, the founding of the United Nations came to abandon states from using force against one another unjustifiably.

The international law prior to 1945 also The founding of did not have procedural normativity and so there were no clear guidelines on how to handle global issues.

Also,the international law prior to 1945 was based on the general practice among states and so, it was almost impossible to analyze the practice of all the states across the globe and so, the founding of the United Nations was a radical departure of the International law prior to 1945.

In addition, the founding of the United nations was a radical departure of the international law prior to 1945 because it acts to prevent the crimes against humanity.

Reference List

Bederman, D.J., 2002.The spirit of international law.Georgia: University of Georgia Press.

Collin, R. M. & Collin, R. W., 2009. Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Volume 1. California: ABC-CLIO.

Dixon, M., 2007.Textbook on international law.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

International Law Commission. 2000. Yearbook of the International Law Commission. New York: United Nations Publications.

Sarooshi, D & Fitzmaurice, M., 2004. Issues of state responsibility before International judicial institutions. London: Hart Publishing.

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