International Law Assess the Legality essay

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The case involving Milosevic was has different sub-plots, as he would claim that the actions he took were to prevent the country from being overrun by terrorists. Yet, at the same time, as some of these atrocities were being committed, NATO would attack Serbia in an effort to halt these violations. In this aspect, one could argue that the actions taken by NATO were in violation of international law. As they were not supported by a UN mandate, instead the actions were NATO countries working in concert with one another to go after Serbia. This is despite the fact that Serbia did not attack any of NATO allied nations.

When you look at the situations from the realist perspective, they would argue that the application of different international standards is an attempt to circumvent the power of the nation state over its people. Where, the ICC is unilaterally determining what actions are considered to be violations of international law. This is despite the fact that they are not held accountable to any kind of democratically elected body or state. As a result, you could have a situation of selective prosecution occurring, where various international standards should apply but they do not.

For example, using the NATO lead military action against Bosnia, one could argue that the NATO was in violation of war crimes, based upon the language of the law itself. As war crimes is defined as, "Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health."

This is confusing, because the provisions make it appear as if NATO is violating the same basic standards to go after Milosevic. According to realists, these different theories do not work, because they fail to address the underlying problems with the international community. As they are attempting to provide an idealistic solution to the situation, but they do not account for how they can be implemented in the real world. Once this begins to occur, it could create more confusion, as these standards are constantly moving. At which point, it is only a matter of time until unilateral violations will occur and the world community is unable to enforce various laws. This is significant, because it shows how the ideas of international law are confusing and unclear, which often makes the situation worse.

In comparison, neo-realists would believe that the establishment of international standards could have a dramatic impact upon the nation state. This is because; the various institutions and laws that they established are enforceable around the globe. This helps to slowly create various case precedent and legal systems in interpreting international laws. At which point, the different violations will be clear. Over the course of time, this could lead to a shift in the behavior of nation states and individuals. As they are being held accountable for any kind of actions they take. When you apply these views to the Milosevic trial, they are highlighting how a shift has taken place. Where, those individuals who have knowingly committed various atrocities will be held accountable for their actions. Over the course of time, this will have positive implications for the rule of law and how various nation states are acting. Where, these different standards will hold everyone accountable for their deeds. This is despite the fact that Milosevic committed these crimes and was protected from the charges for many years. As the various laws and legal institutions would not stop until he was brought to justice for the atrocities that he committed. In this case, the Milosevic trail is underscoring how a shift is taking place in international law. As various institutions and legal procedures, are moving beyond the traditional areas of international law, by establishing new legal frameworks for such proceedings. At which point, such violations of these standards will hold various governments and individuals accountable.


Franck, Thomas. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Goldsmith, Jack. "The Limits of Idealism." Daedulus. 132, no. 1. (2003): 47 -- 63.

Higgins, Rosalyn. "Policy and Impartiality." 915 -- 931.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Thomas Franck. "What Happens Now?" American Society of International Law. 97, no. 3 (2003): 607 -- 620.

Jack Goldsmith. "The Limits of Idealism." Daedulus. 132, no. 1. (2003):…[continue]

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