International law is an evolving body of rules and historical norms that is supposed to govern the conduct of nations in order to organize and stabilize international relations. It consists of various agreements, treaties and conventions between states and other international entities. The primary function of the law is to use peaceful methods for settling international disputes. In addition, it also helps countries to protect their citizens from harmful effects of foreign policies of other nations and provide them with a sense of security by enforcing rights and freedoms of citizens.
There is no one international legal system, and the laws are not enforced by any single authority. Instead, they are primarily created and enforced by states themselves, through their mutual consent. The law of nations has been around since the emergence of independent states as different parts of the world have become more and more separate. In general, international law is based on the principle that sovereign nations are free to adopt or reject any rules and agreements, although they must comply with those that have been adopted by other states.
In modern times, individuals and multi-national corporations are also considered the subjects of international law as they have been conferred with certain rights and duties under the system. Similarly, international organizations like the United Nations have been established as legal persons with a legal personality and are considered to be vested with both rights and duties under the international legal system.