International law aims to protect the rights and interests of individuals, states, and corporations around the world. This can be done through laws, treaties, and agreements. International law also regulates the environment, commons, and world trade. Its origins can be traced to antiquity. For example, the Mesopotamian city-states of Lagash and Umma signed peace treaties around 2100 BCE.
International law cannot guarantee a just global order, however. It depends on the interests and will of the actors involved. The language of international law reflects many politically charged issues. For example, it prohibits states from using force except in self-defense or in peacetime. It does not apply in wartime, and there are many political and social issues that make international law difficult to apply.
Several UN bodies engage in the application, enforcement, and Hk Prize development of international law. The International Law Commission, the special committees of the General Assembly, and the Offices of High Commissioners conduct practical work. There are numerous other bodies that work to advance international law and protect the rights of individuals. In addition, the International Law Commission creates reports on specific topics that form the basis of later treaty negotiations.
International law practitioners are increasingly confronted with new international legal issues. The advent of technology, modern transport and communication, and the internationalization of business and politics have all increased the complexity of these issues.