Some of the arguments in favour of international law are as follows:
(1) All the laws are not the commands of the sovereign but laws are also based on the customs of the people:
Many political thinkers do not regard International Law as a law because it is not the command of a sovereign state. Sir Henry Maine and his followers have refuted this argument. They are not satisfied with Austin’s definition of Law as the command of the sovereign.
Sir Henry Maine and his followers maintain that laws are not always the commands of the sovereign. There are certain laws which are based on customs. Sometimes the customs which have been in practice are recognised by the state and they become laws.
English Common law is a glaring example of customary laws. Similar may be the case with International Law. In the words of Professor R.N. Gilchrist, Law does not consist merely in the malting of a definite code, it is rather the recognition of the state of principles already definitely existing among the people and the sanction of the law which in the first place is shown in the machinery of the state, really is the common agreement of the people”.
(2) The States, though sovereign, yet obey international law for their mutual advantage:
Modern political thinkers maintain that though the States are sovereign, yet they obey international law for their mutual advantage. Chief Justice Marshall recognised the absolve authority of the State over all persons and things within its territory. But he admitted that considerations of mutual benefit and advantage m practice made necessary “a relaxation of that absolute and complete jurisdiction which sovereignty is said to confer”.
(3) The Most Potent Force behind the International Law is International Opinion:
Just as public opinion is the most potent force behind the laws of the state, so international opinion is the most potent force behind the International Law. Even the powerful nations have to bow down to the international opinion. For example, in 1956, Israel, France and Great Britain committed aggressions against Egypt, and were severely condemned in the U.N. As a result all the three countries had to pull out their forces from Egypt.
Now-a-days every state formulates its own policy but before adopting that policy it ponders over the question whether its policy will be welcomed by the U.N. or not. If its policy is likely to be criticised severely in the U.N. the state modifies it and then adopts it.
(4) Violence of International Law is vitiated by punishment also:
If a state violates the International Law, it is punished by the U.N. The punishment is either in the form of expulsion from the U.N. or in the form of Economic Blockade. For example, near about 1950 when North Korea with the backing of China committed an aggression on South Korea, the U.N.
General Assembly declared North Korea as aggressor by two-third majority and the Emergency force of the U.N. acted accordingly and faced the aggression boldly. Similarly, the U.N. forces established peace in Congo and Cyprus.
When a powerful nation goes on committing aggressions on weaker nations and does not pay any heed to the international opinion, the World War breaks out. In the World War a number of nations fight jointly against the aggressor who is ultimately defeated. For example, Hitler and Mussolini committed aggressions on a number of nations. As a result the Second War broke out, during which both of them were badly defeated and their nations suffered irreparable loss.
Germany has not been unified as yet (May, 1986). In 1965 Rhodesia unilaterally declared its independence in order to establish the sovereign authority of white people. As a result, Britain and many other countries declared Economic Blockade of Rhodesia.
(5) A law does not cease to be a law if it is violated:
Just as the laws of the state do not cease to exist if they are violated by a thief, dacoit or any other criminal. The laws of the state continue to exist as laws. Only the criminals and law breakers are punished. The same can be applied to International Law also. If a state violates the International Law, the International Law does not cease to exist. It continues to exist in the same capacity. The state which violates it is punished in one way or the other.
(6) There are organisations to make, execute and interpret the International Law:
The supporters of International Law maintain that resolutions were passed, laws were framed previously by League of Nations and now by United Nations Organisation, Organisation like League of Nations and United Nations Organisation are the important organs of International Law. Security Council executes International Laws and International Court of Justice at Hague interprets these laws and resolves international disputes by interpreting these laws.
(7) International Law is based on logic and reasoning and is distinct from international morality:
Principles of International Law are based on logic and reasoning. They are well-framed. This is the reason why every state follows these laws. They are hot merely the principles of morality.
A number of cases are decided with help of International Law hall observes:
“the doctrines of International Law have been elaborated by a course of legal reasoning, in international controversies precedents are used in a strictly legal manner; the opinions of writers are quoted and relied upon for the same purposes as those for which the opinions of writers are invoked under a system of municipal law; the conduct of states is attacked, defended and judged within the range of International Law by a reference to legal considerations alone; and finally it is recognised that there is an international morality distinct from law, violation of which gives no formal ground of complaint, however, odious the action of the ill-doer may be”.
(8) Prize courts apply this law in many countries:
There are Prize courts in different states. International Law is interpreted in these courts. It is these courts that guarantee the enjoyment of right to life and property to the foreigners. In many cases are decided with the help of International Law.