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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
World Congress on International Law
Jan 17, 2015

World Congress on International Law on the theme Relevance of International Law was organised by the Indian Society of International Law (ISIL) recently in New Delhi.

International Law as it is now understood and practiced is of relatively recent origin. It owes its origin primarily to the Westphalian World Order forged in Europe in the 17th century. Its beginnings, modest and limited, coincide with the rise of nation states in Europe, bore its stamp and focused on common values and the reciprocity of interests. 

  • The principles of sovereignty and legal equality of states were first enunciated by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius in 1625. 

  • The principles of sanctity of agreements entered into, as also the saving conditionality allowing non-compliance, lent balance to the commitments entered into by nation states.

  • The two World Wars presented fresh challenges to the principles and practices of international law. These related to rectification of boundaries, care of refugees and administration of the territory of the defeated enemy. 

  • Efforts to address these and related issues through the creation of the League of Nations were unsuccessful. 

  • This failure, and the horrors of World War II, led to appreciation of the necessity of international cooperation and the formation of the United Nations as a body capable of ensuring obedience to international law and maintaining peace. 

  • The Preamble of the UN Charter assert this as one of the objectives: “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.”

The period since 1945 has been highly productive in regard to the growth and evolution of international law. International cooperation was widely accepted, though not universally. The first few decades in particular gave cause for optimism. 

  • The UN assisted the process of decolonization and the effort to end Apartheid. 

  • The UN Multilateral system contributed to the enunciation of normative principles to regulate international conduct. 

  • Questions such as disarmament, social development, gender equality, population, food and water and a host of problems relevant for the developing world were addressed. 

  • Common trans-national services related to civil aviation, maritime regulations, health, telecommunications, postal systems, refugees, world weather and food security were put in place. 

  • 193 nations are now members of the UN and subscribe to its Charter. 

  • The ambit of rules of international law has widened and includes intergovernmental organizations, corporations, non-governmental organizations as well as individuals.  

The founding fathers of India’s Constitution accepted these broad principles and incorporated them in the Directive Principles of State policy. Pursuant to this, the state shall foster respect for international law and treaty obligations of organized people with one another.

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