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February 3, 2014

International law or politics?

The professed dichotomy amid international law and the issue of politics has occurred as a significantly imperative mark of reference for authors, scholars as well as critics within the discussions. Much of the discourse based on this perception revolves around determining the actual temperament of respective international law. Several scholars have treated both facets as a pair of unique frameworks and have generated arguments that either act in favor or oppose the prevailing issue. On one hand, authors assert that international law is simply a political mechanism that experiences by States in order to further their best interests. On the other hand, critics argue that international law does exist in its own capacity. However, in this particular supportive claim for international law, critics also assert that international law exudes insufficient prominence due to its predisposition towards experiencing considerable influence from political considerations. Nevertheless, in relation to these respective arguments, the fact that States can determine the sovereignty of international law illustrates that international law is just a political tool.
Reviewing Both Sides of the Argument
In overview, this perceptible peculiarity, that international law can be either political or legal, is entirely disingenuous. It does not provide an appropriate construal to the temperament of international legislation. The thoughts comprising a legal framework as well as a political structure have experienced considerable utilization by scholars in the decorum concerning international law’s nature. In addition, such ideas are simply ideal variants that should have relaxed interpretations since they are less likely to undergo replication in the actual global society. Rather, the usage of ideal definitions regarding the political and the legal offers a construed understanding of the predisposition of international law, and subsequently, the connotations of the political and the legal. In addition, having such a condensed meaning offers the capability of establishing the occurrence of a distinction between a political system and a legal framework. Almost certainly, international law comprises several political elements.
Regardless of the political nature of these statements, the elements also tend to be legal based on the manner they attempt to offer a sense of duties and obligations among states and civilians alike. For instance, the popular Rules of Combat possess insignificant political elements based on the way they focus on offering a valid distinction between a combatant and a civilian. As part of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, these regulations authorize the point at which one classifies as a combatant or a person based on the current circumstance. For instance, if a combatant does not have a weapon at the time of conflict, then the opposing participant is under legal authority not to shoot or wound the person. However, if a civilian possesses a weapon especially in times of conflict, then it is legal to defend against him or her. Irrespective of this, it is still impossible to negate the fact that international law has undergone significant use in order to further the political interests of States.
The Argument: International Law is Just Politics
Indeed, Bolton expresses his discontent with the nature of international law in relation to the considerable political temperament it displays. Accordingly, he asserts that international law is not legislation; rather, it constitutes a collection of moral and political arrangements that rest upon or collapse within their own advantages (Slomanson, 2010, 10). Generally, on one hand, it is apparent that international law is merely a political mechanism. Elucidating this argument further, critics argue that describing international law in any other manner is just superstition. This is in accordance to the claim that States pursue their respective interests without following guidelines implied within international law. For instance, skeptics usually account for the excess existence of definite members such as the United Nations and the League of Nations. Nonetheless, such international organizations only illustrate the subsistence of an ineffective legal structure (Slomanson, 10). In addition, critics still assert the lack of difference between international law and politics by comparing the inefficiency of these supposed legal systems with politically notorious national legal frameworks.
In addition to the discourse on the politics of international law, Bilder further supports the notion of international law as a political mechanism. Accordingly, the author utilizes the illustration of the United States by viewing it as an international player that does not hold considerable conviction for the law. Based on this illustration, Bilder views international law as “a pretense and window dressing for realpolitik-based policies” (Slomanson, 10). Therefore, due to the political elements it possesses, it is important to avoid taking international law seriously. From the arguments expressed by Bilder, one can see the manner in which international law does not deviate far from politics. By describing it as a set of realpolitik-based procedures, the author surmises that international law constitutes a political structure upon which countries or States depend on in order to attend to their needs rather than explore effectual ideas that are considerably cooperative.<…>

Indeed, the views expressed by most critics regarding the nature of international law coincide with the fact that it is highly political. Accordingly, the main reason for this supposition is on the basis that States utilize these laws to facilitate their political aims. This is verifiable to an extent based on the way that member nations are construct legislations that are political rather than utilitarian. In addition, the fact that global problems continue to increase further illustrate the minimal impact that international law imposes irrespective of the publicly related resolutions it implements whenever it attempts to solve the issues facing the global society. Moreover, the sovereignty of States also influences the political temperament of international law. Indeed, the international legal structure is unable to deliver legal punishment to States due to the status that these nations hold as coequal sovereigns. Therefore, based on these occurrences, it is naïve to conceal the political nature of international law.

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