International law is a set of rules and procedures that govern the interaction between states. It sets up a common conceptual framework for states across a broad range of domains. These include international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international human rights law, and international organizations.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutes individuals who have committed crimes against humanity, such as genocide. It also tries to promote accountability for serious crimes. Those who are prosecuted by the ICC may seek asylum in a safer country.
In recent years, globalization has enlarged the scope of international law. There are now a wide variety of international organizations that work on issues such as climate change, international humanitarian law, human rights, and environmental protection.
In modern times, the United Nations has pioneered many important legal initiatives, such as combating terrorism. The organization continues to do so today. Its legal work includes protecting the environment, regulating migrant labor, and fighting drug trafficking.
International law is a complex field. Traditionally, it focused on peacetime agreements between sovereign states. However, the scope of the law has expanded to include all human activity. This has been accomplished through a process of consensus-building.
One important example is the fourth Geneva convention, which took effect in 1950. It updated previous conventions and required that countries implement protocols to protect civilians during wartime.
Another example is the United Nations Security Council, which is a special committee within the United Nations. Resolutions from the council can impose sanctions on a state. Typically, a member state is able to veto a resolution.