Snímek 1

Palacky University Olomouc
Faculty of Law
Law of International
- History -
Support of the foreign language profile of law tuition at
the Faculty of Law in Olomouc CZ.1.07/2.2.00/15.0288
The very starting point: The Peace of
The starting point: Assumptions of the
Westphalian Legal System
1. Sovereign States as the one and only subject of international law.
2. Sovereignty. There is no legal authority above the state; states are
assumed to have control of activities within their borders.
3. Equality. All states are legally equal: here is no explicit hierarchy
in the system, in contrast to a medieval or imperial system. States
still differ substantially in their size and capabilities
4. Noninterference and nonintervention. States should not attempt
to intervene in the internal affairs of other states except through
5. States have a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. War, if
conducted properly, is considered a legitimate means of settling
international disputes. Only states can engage in such violence.
6. Neutrality. States have the right to remain outside the disputes of
other states.
Traditional International Law
• Bilateral treaties and Diplomacy
• Absolute sovereignty (war)
• Traditional international law = law of coexistence / of coordination (Functional
– Jurisdiction of states
– Delimitation of maritime zones
– Access to each other´s courts
• ...
Modern International Law
• Global commons
– Kyoto Agreement (environment)
– Prohibition of the use of force by peremptory norms of IL
• Scientific cooperation on health, agriculture,
environment, population etc.
• Monetary and Economic cooperation
• Human Rights
– Universal Declaration of Human Rights
– International Criminal Court
• (Multifunction) international organizations (e.g. EU, AU)
– Today: States may voluntarily concede authority to an
international/supranational organization
– e.g. EU, the law of which is directly applicable on the territory of
its member states.
Sources of International Law
• Custom
• Bilateral Treaty
• Multilateral Treaty
– In many cases, treaties are negotiated specifically to
define areas of international law and then opened for
• Actions and resolutions of international
• Decisions of the International Court of Justice
– These are very rare...
Forerunners of IO (1)
• IO as i.a. defence / peace keeping tool
– Defence alliances
– Hanseatic League (economic alliance of trading
– Grand Alliance 1686/88
– German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) 1815
– The Confederation of the Rhine (Rheinbund;
États confédérés du Rhin)
• confederation of client states of the First French Empire
Forerunners of IO (2)
• Is there a problem? Let´s have a congress...
• Multilateral State Conferences: Congress of
Vienna 1814/15
• Settling issues arising from the French Revolutionary
Wars/dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
• New aspect: constituting peace as a goal of the
international community
Peace conferences since 1899
• Conferences
– Hague Peace Conferences 1899, 1907
– London Peace Conference (on Balkans) 1912/13
– Paris Peace Conference 1919/20 (Versailles)
• Impact?
– No institutionalisation (like
e.g. the OSCE…)
– No rules on participation
– unanimous decisions required
– Also small states pariticipate (universal
The true starting point:
the 19th century
• Developments in technology
Administrative Unions
– Central Commission for Navigation
on the Rhine (1815)
• Elbe 1821, Douro (1835), Danube (1856)
– International Telecommunication
Union (17 May 1865)
– Universal Postal Union (Treaty of Bern,
signed on October 9, 1874)
International Telecommunication Union monument,
Bern, Switzerland: "International Telegraph Union
founded at Paris in 1865 on the initiative of the
French government. [This monument] erected by a
decision of the Telegraph Union made at the
international conference at Lisbon in 1908."
• International Union of Railway Freight
Transportation (1890)
• International Office of Public Health
• Metric Union (1875)
• International Copyright Union (1886)
• International Sugar Union (1902)
• International Institute for Agriculture
Impact on international law?
• Growing body of international legal
norms / treaties rather than customary
• More detailled regulation on
• Membership in IO restrains sovereignty
of States!
A qualitative step forward: 1919
•Solferino, WW I., ....
•The League of Nations: Paris Peace Conference /
„Fourteen Points“ speech of Woodrow Wilson (1918):
„The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that
program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this: …
XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific
covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political
independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.“
The League of Nations
• Organs:
– Assembly, Council, Secretariat
– Permanent Court of International Justice
• League's primary goals included:
– collective security (no military
obligations/economic sanctions)
– disarmament, and
– settling international disputes through negotiation
and arbitration (both not obligatory!)
• Your assessment of the League?
The bitter
end of the
League of
The bitter end of the League of
On 23 June 1936, in the wake
of the collapse of League
efforts to restrain Italy's war of
conquest against Abyssinia
(Ethiopian Empire), British
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
told the House of Commons
that collective security had
"failed ultimately because of the reluctance of nearly all the nations in
Europe to proceed to what I might call military sanctions ... The real
reason, or the main reason, was that we discovered in the process of
weeks that there was no country except the aggressor country which
was ready for war ... [I]f collective action is to be a reality and not
merely a thing to be talked about, it means not only that every country
is to be ready for war; but must be ready to go to war at once. That is a
terrible thing, but it is an essential part of collective security.“
United Nations
History of United Nations
Founding as part of WWII Allied alliance
Post-WWII cooperation; ends with UN action in
US dominance; Security Council actions blocked by
USSR vetos; "Uniting for Peace" procedures
established by General Assembly
UN involvement in decolonization (e.g. Congo;
UNDP); first financial crisis
Dominance of „Southern“ States in General
Assembly; emphasis on aspects such as urbanization,
population, environment.
Second financial crisis; movement towards
bureaucratic reform
Post-Cold War cooperation; Iraq-Kuwait action;
major increase in peacekeeping activities
Major UN Peacekeeping/Peacemaking
Operations: Cold War
1948: Palestine, Kashmir
1950: Korea
1956: Suez
1960: Congo
1964: Cyprus
1967: Middle East
1973: Middle East
1978: Lebanon
Major UN Peacekeeping/Peacemaking
Operations : Post Cold War
Namibia, Angola
Western Sahara, Mozambique
East Timor
Current challenges facing UN
• Collective security and the use of force
– Korean (1951) and Iraq (1991) are the only cases
– Does “self-defense” include pre-emptive action
(USA in Iraq 2003)
• Humanitarian intervention / R2P
• Security Council expansion
– Perm. membership for India, Brazil, Germany and
• Peace-Building Commission
– Follow-up to peacekeeping missions: debate over
SC vs GA control
Current challenges facing UN
• Human Rights Council
– Currently too large (53 members) and contains some of the
worst human rights offenders
• Expansion of peacekeeping operations
Command structure
Institutional support
Peacekeeping versus peacemaking
• Budget
– Size
– Dependence on large donors (8% of members pay 86% of
– Unpaid dues, particularly by the United States
What next?
• currently are more than 250 IGOs
worldwide, number continues to rise
• Supranational organisations (African
Union, European Union, etc.)
• ...
Thanks for your attention!
See you next week! 