Norms in International Relations Quiz



9 Questions

What are the sources of international law?

What is the difference between public and private international law?

What is the principle of jus cogens?

What is the difference between monism and dualism in international law?

What is the United Nations Security Council responsible for?

Who is considered the father of international law?

What is the difference between Natural Law and Legal Positivism in international legal theory?

What is the principle of par in parem non habet imperium?

What is the difference between international law and private international law?


Norms in International Relations

  • International law is a set of rules, norms, and standards binding between states, and it establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework for states across a broad range of domains, including war, diplomacy, economic relations, and human rights.

  • The sources of international law include international custom, treaties, and general principles of law recognised by most national legal systems, while international comity, which means the practices adopted by states to maintain good relations and mutual recognition, are not legally binding.

  • International law is primarily, though not exclusively, applicable to states, rather than to individuals, and operates largely through consent since there is no universally accepted authority to enforce it upon sovereign states.

  • National law may become international law when treaties permit national jurisdiction to supranational tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court, and national laws or constitutions may provide for the implementation or integration of international legal obligations into domestic law.

  • The modern term "international law" was originally coined by Jeremy Bentham in his 1789 book Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation to replace the older law of nations, and Lassa Oppenheim's definition of international law as "a law between sovereign and equal states based on the common consent of these states" has been largely adopted by international legal scholars.

  • There is a distinction between public and private international law, and the difference between the two areas of law has been debated as scholars disagree about the nature of their relationship, while the term transnational law is sometimes used to refer to a body of both national and international rules that transcend the nation state.

  • The most common example of a supranatural system is the European Union, and systems of supranational law arise when nations explicitly cede their right to make decisions to this system’s judiciary and legislature, which then have the right to make laws that are directly effective in each member state.

  • The origins of international law can be traced back to antiquity, and among the earliest recorded examples are peace treaties between the Mesopotamian city-states of Lagash and Umma and an agreement between the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramesses II, and the Hittite king, Ḫattušili III, concluded in 1279 BCE.

  • The Roman Empire established an early conceptual framework for international law, jus gentium, which governed the status of foreigners living in Rome and relations between foreigners and Roman citizens, and the subsequent Warring States period saw the development of two major schools of thought, Confucianism and Legalism, both of which held that the domestic and international legal spheres were closely interlinked.

  • Hugo Grotius is widely regarded as the father of international law, being one of the first scholars to articulate an international order that consists of a "society of states" governed not by force or warfare but by actual laws, mutual agreements, and customs, and his 1625 work, De Jure Belli ac Pacis, laid down a system of principles of natural law that bind all nations regardless of local custom or law.

  • The developments of the 17th century culminated at the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which is considered the seminal event in international law, and the resulting Westphalian sovereignty is said to have established the current international legal order characterised by independent nation-states.

  • Colonial expansion by European powers had reached its peak in the lateOverview of International Law

  • International law is a set of rules and principles that govern the relations between states and other international actors.

  • The sources of international law include international treaties, customary international law, general legal principles, judicial decisions, and the teachings of prominent legal scholars.

  • Treaties are binding agreements between states, which can be enacted through signature, ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

  • Customary international law requires a consistent practice of states and the conviction of those states that the consistent practice is required by legal obligation.

  • The principle of jus cogens defines peremptory norms that are accepted and recognized by the international community of states as a norm from which no derogation is permitted.

  • Monism and dualism are two approaches to the relationship between international and national law. Monism assumes that international and national law are part of the same legal order, while dualism considers them as two separate legal orders.

  • States, international organizations, and individuals are all subjects of international law, with states being defined as legal persons with a permanent population, a defined territory, government, and the capacity to enter relations with other states.

  • Conflict of laws, also known as private international law, is concerned with determining which nation’s laws should govern a particular legal circumstance.

  • Social and economic policies can be a part of international law, with international organizations playing a significant role in this regard.Overview of International Law

  • International law is a set of rules and principles that govern the relationships between states, international organizations, and individuals in the international community.

  • Private international law deals with issues related to the jurisdiction of states and their courts over disputes involving foreign parties.

  • Human rights, labor law, environmental law, and territory and sea are some of the key areas covered by international law.

  • The law of the sea regulates the principles and rules by which states and other entities interact in maritime matters.

  • International criminal law sets out the definition of international crimes and compels states to prosecute these crimes.

  • International courts and tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court, are responsible for enforcing international law.

  • Enforcement of international law is different from domestic law, and it is often self-enforcing.

  • The United Nations General Assembly can make recommendations, but it cannot codify international law or make binding resolutions.

  • The United Nations Security Council has the power to take decisive and binding actions against states committing “a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or an act of aggression” for collective security.

  • International legal theory comprises a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain and analyze the content, formation, and effectiveness of international law and institutions.

  • Compliance and formation of international rules are some of the key areas focused on by international legal theory.

  • International law is constantly evolving and adapting to the changing international landscape.Approaches to International Legal Theory

  • International legal theory consists of different perspectives that aim to explain and interpret the principles and norms of international law.

  • Some approaches focus on understanding the nature of international law, while others are policy-oriented and provide theoretical frameworks to criticize existing norms and suggest improvements.

  • Classical approaches to international legal theory include Natural Law, Eclectic, and Legal Positivism schools of thought.

  • The Natural Law approach posits that international norms should be based on axiomatic truths, and it emphasizes the importance of morality and divine justice in governing relations among polities.

  • The Eclectic School argues that nations and persons should be governed by universal principles based on morality and divine justice, while the relations among polities should be governed by the law of peoples established by the consent of the community of nations.

  • Legal Positivism emphasizes the importance of custom and treaties as sources of international law, and it considers international law as a unified system of rules that emanates from the states' will.

  • Modern legal positivists consider international law as an "objective" reality that needs to be distinguished from law "as it should be".

  • Nation-states observe the principle of par in parem non habet imperium, which holds that no state is in subjection to any other state.

  • John Austin and Charles de Gaulle argued that international law was not really law but "positive morality" and treaties were not reliable.

  • Hans Morgenthau believed international law to be the weakest and most primitive system of law enforcement.

  • Morgenthau asserted that no state may be compelled to submit a dispute to an international tribunal, making laws unenforceable and voluntary.

  • International law is unpoliced, lacking agencies for enforcement.

  • International society is not a society at all, but international anarchy.


Test your knowledge on international law and the different approaches to international legal theory with our Norms in International Relations quiz. From the sources of international law to the role of international organizations, this quiz covers a broad range of topics related to international law. You'll also have the opportunity to explore the different schools of thought in international legal theory, including Natural Law, Eclectic, and Legal Positivism. Are you ready to put your knowledge to the test? Take our Norms in International Relations quiz now

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