International Law and Legal Processes Around the World
The goal of achieving justice is noble, but the meaning of justice differs worldwide. Discover international law and global legal processes.

The goal of achieving justice is noble and admirable, but the meaning of justice differs around the world. For example, consider how legal processes differ from one country to another.

Features of legal systems

Whether you are a civilian, a legal professional, or a civil servant, it helps to understand the different features that establish legal systems — and limit the power.

  1. A national constitution (written or oral) 
  2. Legislation, laws, and statutes that are prepared and authorized by a governing body 
  3. Subordinate laws (bylaws) that are authorized by a network of bodies that hold powers granted by primary legislation 
  4. Traditions, customs, and established behaviors practiced by the court to maintain a consistent legal environment 
  5. A civil, common, or other code of laws that forms the primary source of principles and legal practices, such as a religious system 

A combination of the above features has led to hundreds of unique systems of law used throughout the world. The overlap (and gap) of systems, rules, and policing has opened opportunities for transnational crime and empowered organized criminal organizations to find loopholes.

Point to ponder: what role does international law play in governing a global community, and how does it impact the different traditions, customs, and laws worldwide? Take note that sometimes, politicians play with statistics, and legal processes should be considered in a holistic view.

global legal processes point to ponder

What is International law?

“International law is an independent system of law existing outside the legal orders of particular states.” - Brittanica

Rather than rely on a superior authority to enforce such rules, international law is considered a binding agreement among the states involved.

Who established international law?

The term international law was coined by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham who lived from 1748 to 1832.

What is described in international law?

International law has evolved over the years and covers various issues. For example, war, peace, diplomacy, human rights, economic and trade issues, space law, and even international organizations.

Although a legal order, international law strongly focuses on ethical principles and concerns, particularly human rights.

How is international law governed?

The United Nations General Assembly consists of representatives from 190 countries, operating as a forum that adopts multilateral treaties. While it appears as a legislature, the UN cannot issue binding laws. Instead, resolutions set forward by the UN only serve as a recommendation.

Different types of international law

There are different types of international law determined by the parties involved. Most commonly, there are treaties and international customs.

  • Treaties, also known as conventions, agreements, pacts, general acts, charters, and covenants 
  • International customs