Politics in Minutes (2016)

International law

Until comparatively recently, treaties between nations have been strictly between the signatories, with no international recognition of their validity. In an increasingly globalized world, however, with much greater international trade and cooperation, the need arose for internationally recognized agreements and some laws to regulate international relations.

Some supranational organizations, such as trading blocs or defence alliances, have laws agreed by all the member states, but there are also truly international laws to which the majority of the countries of the world are signatories. These cover issues that are generally beyond the scope of individual sovereign governments – such things as international commerce, copyrights and patents, human rights, territorial disputes and the conduct of war. Matters of international law are decided in the International Courts in The Hague, established after the Second World War.