International law has been regarded throughout history as the main system of rules regulating players of the international community, it applies to all states and imposes specific obligations and rights on nations, just as domestic law imposes them on individuals. Its purpose is similar to that of domestic law that is to eliminate chaos in the International community and set standards of behavior which states must follow in their dealings with each other.
Many controversies have arisen nowadays as to whether international law is “natural law”, international law now faces considerable criticism as to its effectiveness as law and doubts as to its actual existence, and its power to bind countries .
Some say that international law has failed to serve its purpose as International legal system, created to supervise relations of states, and achieve fairness between states in the international community. Some may even argue that International law is now controlled by states and reflects the character of society rather than the opposite. But to how extent is this true? Does international law set the rules for nations to abide by, creating a pattern of behavior followed by societies or has it merely become a mirror reflecting the behavior and practices of societies and controlled by it?
In this paper, I will attempt to show that while it is true that International law reflects the character of the society, it would be also correct to say that the opposite is correct.
The Development of the Modern International Law
Law is the framework which applies to members of the community and sets the binding values and standards recognized by its subjects. It regulates their behaviour and it reflects the principles of the society within which it operates.
The concept known now as international law has deep roots in history, in the early days; it took the form of treaties and agreements between many ancient civilizations such as the peace treaties between the Jews, the Romans, the Syrians and the Spartans (chapter 1, an introduction to international law, Janis M.), another early form of international law was the Jus Gentium, which was regarded by the Romans as the law of nations, a universal law applied in Roman courts to foreigners whose national law was unknown. In the early seventeenth century, with the end of the medieval phase in Europe, it was argued that the law of nations created legally binding rules which governed the sovereign states of Europe.
The subsequent emergence of the concepts of sovereignty and independence in Europe triggered the need for a unified structure under which relations between states could be conducted in an acceptable manner in accordance with the standards of general behaviour. This lead to the creation of the modern notion of International law, which has developed in the 19th century primarily through international conventions and recognized practices, which imposed obligations and created...