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Thread: International Law/Human Rights

  1. #1
    literally your mother Array PocketFullOf's Avatar
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    Oct 2014

    Default International Law/Human Rights

    1) Do you believe IL is relevant?
    2) Do you believe it should be respected?
    3) Do you believe the way it is or is not enforced now good?

    1) I believe it is relevant because powerful actors make it relevant and use it as a way to control and coerce smaller actors into bending to their interests. I don't believe the values take precedence over political interests anywhere.

    2) I think it would be good if it were respected, but I also think it has a very western bias and the ideals of other cultures should be taken into consideration if it is to be taken seriously, and frankly, in touch with reality.

    3) I think if it is going to be enforced it should be enforced fairly and for the primary purpose of enforcing the laws in order to make the world a better place. It should not be used as a way for more powerful actors to coerce or bully smaller ones into submission, in fact that is making a mockery of it and detrimental to the cause.

    Taking a concept to it's logical end is rarely logical or relevant to the subject at hand.
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  2. #2
    Freaking Ratchet Array Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    1) International Law and Rights are only as relevant if states(note: Country) follow them. Five of these states are most crucial when it comes to International Law being relevant: United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France. It's relevant, especially when countries have a lot less political clout than, say, one of those 5 mentioned. To whom is it referring to? Will an international law that, say, a small country in South America or Africa mattered as much as country with Political clout says no or not vote? We can have 200 states in the United Nations saying no and just 3 big states saying yes, and the law created will be de facto relevant.

    Take some recent states like Kosovo and East Timor as mere examples.

    Take Israel and Palestine as another example.

    2) That is a moral question. When it comes to a state, is IT noteworthy to follow International Law or Human Rights? Is it advantageous to follow the law when it is advantageous and disregard the law when it is disadvantageous (noted, because state law trumps International Law.) One area of criticism when it comes to big states like the United States is when it comes to water territory (I believe the furthest is about 14 miles from the coast.) the law will be disregarded or voted no because it is disadvantageous for the United States. When it comes to International Rights, refer to Kosovo and East Timor again.

    3) Are you saying whether it is good now, or does it need reworking so that it needs to work? That depends if you believe International Laws serves a higher purpose than State Laws or if you believe that states ultimately trump International Laws. As it is now, it only works when it works, and it has glaring flaws when it doesn't work. As far as I am concerned, the only primary actors of the United Nations are the big 5. If there is no benefit to a law, disregard, if it benefits the state, implement. Take a more "neutral" international issue taking place with the internet. At this moment, there are many states that want to implement something like China and Russia, but there are also states that don't want to implement what China and Russia has (either to feign ignorance that it is being done, or to sincerely believe it.) China and Russia benefits from getting that law passed, United States benefit either way (United States care a lot more about its soft-power when it comes to this issue because we have more of it than Russia and China.)

  3. #3


    While IL applies to anything, I'm going to be phrasing in means of warfare because everything from economics, culture conflicts, sovereignty etc, can be compared to a type of battlefield. Also proponent of IL is mainly supported by center left western belief systems more so than any other group.

    1) Not sure what you mean by relevant,

    2) No I don't think so, ethical behavior requires both sides willing to follow through. As it stands, IL just sets limits on countries who already have codes of conduct. Major players in the world even in the world wars and cold war followed codes of conduct, not that war is pretty and I don't deny a lot of gray area but the perception of being a major player and having a lot to lose (meaning you have something of value to begin with) means that codes of conduct would be develop on their own already. Without any laws codes of conduct for conflict are more free to change to meet real world scenarios.

    Its the countries that couldn't care less about codes of conduct, that are unproductive with nothing to lose, who are the ones who benefit most from IL, as all IL does is limit the actions of those who respect it. Two actors following respectable codes of conduct aren't an issue, its the ones who didn't follow them before, and they would not be compelled to follow them thereafter.

    Essentially, international order is defined by conflict and conflict resolution, and baring the power needed to make all countries obey, the bureaucratic tape just creates less flexibility.

    3) This question is presumptuous, "make the world a better place" is a subjective black hole. Its idealism in its purist form, which is in fact dictatorial. Morals, standards, and beliefs are extremely important but the idea of applying a universal constant for the entire world is in itself self serving.

    Another thing I find humorous is the fact that we have almost thy exact opposite conclusions on IL's effect on the world. In no time frame has super powers displaying as much restraint and or charity as the current ones do. Not that its done with the best intentions and or out of self interest, but the statement still stands, its mainly encourage due to our high connectivity through trade (and not IL). The aggression has drifted from the more honest and direct routes of confrontation of power to a more social sphere of culture wars, exclusion, and shaming. Essentially, the worst aspects of IL against smaller nations just add to culture war "whats best for the world", exclusion, and or shaming.

    Examples of the above would be our attempts to punish several African countries for their support for anti homosexual laws, economic sanctions on Iran for their actions/intentions, etc. By and large its very passive aggressive, rather than direct, something that has been unheard of in the past. Even our current wars are hap hazard attempts at nation building.

    But for smaller nations with nothing to lose, it guarantees some hurdles for larger nations to jump through.

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