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How has International Law Changed in the Last Decade?

— January 28, 2020

To build a humanitarian society, as well as attain socio-legal order, international law has got to be transitional and progressive.

Many authors who have expressed their thoughts on how international law has changed in the last decade say it has been one with unending forceful measures against Iraq. The United States of America has had it for Iraq since the decade began. 

All this arises from these two countries’ disagreement regarding the Security Council resolutions. The two great nations don’t seem to agree when it comes to how this act is interpreted. 

This together with the twisted interpretation of the United Nation’s charter, is just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem roots from the divergent views when it comes to international law. 

The truth is when it comes to treaties, customary international law and even the interpretation of Security Council resolutions, the United States has always had a considerable influence. This one-sidedness when it comes to rules that affect more than one nation is the root of all problems. 

International law is supposed to adapt to a rapidly changing world, just like the academic essay writing industry adapts to students’ needs. But has it truly intervened to solve issues that affect citizens globally? Issues like LGBT rights, environmental challenges, corporate responsibility, and cyber-conflicts among others remain unresolved. 

Let’s dive in and find out how much international has changed throughout the past decade that how these changes have affected governments as well as citizens. 

What Seems to Be the Problem?

To start us off, let us talk about the increasing concern when it comes to global climate change. What is the obstacle to collective action when it comes to environmental problems? Acting on an international scale seems to bring more harm than good. International law has blocked progress because these laws are being enacted without the actual machinery to guarantee compliance. 

What good is a law that cannot be enforced? 

Nations now have to depend on treaties build through consensus to make real change. Many successful solutions have been arrived at through compliance without enforcement. Ecological, as well as political, circumstances remain in their wanting state because the many environmental treaties put in place can hardly be adapted or modified.

Desk globe on table; image by Kyle Glenn, via
Desk globe on table; image by Kyle Glenn, via

The truth is situations are unique and require different approaches that international law does not provide. Organizations have had to turn to informal problem-solving strategies because engaging all counties to modify existing treaties seems to be a challenge. 

How Deep is the Problem 

Governments should consider giving non-governmental organizations formal roles that allow them to participate in treaty negotiations. However, many are too concerned about their sovereign rights to see this as a viable solution. 

If non-governmental organizations had a say on how international law is enforced, then the modification and adaptation of different laws wouldn’t have been a problem. 

Since NGOs cannot participate in law-making, nothing seems to change on the ground. Instead of finding actionable solutions, treaty-making today is hell-bent on retaining a formal state that doesn’t seem to help in any way. 

There is so much emphasis on capacity-building when nothing is being done about a large number of unenforceable laws. This is not optimal because, so far, we have seen little to no outcome. 

Even though this approach seems to be realistic in the global legal area, it ignores so many other equally important areas. 

What’s the Way Forward?

Dominant global frameworks need to address the issue on the ground. What does international law look like in the near future? International law should seem to effect legal, social and political change if communal existence is to be made possible. 

To build a humanitarian society, as well as attain socio-legal order, international law has got to be transitional and progressive. Anyone who abuses human rights should not go unpunished and global issues should not be ignored just because it doesn’t affect great nations. 


International law has not served its purpose in the last decade. There have been quite a number of miscalculations that need to be addressed. 

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