regulations governing international relations
International law or the law of nations refers to laws that govern the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another. It differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns states rather than private citizens.
- As individuals and as nations we live in states of society utterly different from each other. As a collection of individuals, we live under the highest and latest development of civilization, in which the individual is rigidly forbidden to defend himself, because society is always ready and able to defend him. As a collection of nations we live in an age of the merest Faustrecht, in which each one obtains his rights precisely in proportion to his ability, or that of his allies, to fight for them... Every nation depends for its safe existence, in the last resort, on its own sword or the sword of others whose interests are bound up with its own. A catalogue of conventional doctrines exists, indeed, to which the proud name of International Law is given. But it can only be called law in a sense absolutely different from that which the word bears in the internal life of States. It has been created by no legislature; no tribunal has the right and duty of interpreting it; it is enforced by no executive authority.
- Lord Salisbury, 'Ministerial Embarrassments', The Quarterly Review, No. 302, Vol. 151 (April 1881), p. 543
- Against meditated aggression it furnishes no shield whatever. In practice it is found that International Law is always on the side of the strong battalions... It is puerile, therefore, to apply to the dealings of a nation with its neighbour's territory the morality which would be applicable to two individuals possessing adjoining property, and protected from mutual wrong by a law superior to both.
- Lord Salisbury, 'Ministerial Embarrassments', The Quarterly Review, No. 302, Vol. 151 (April 1881), p. 544
- The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities, and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality.
- Grover Cleveland, Message to Congress withdrawing a treaty for the annexation of Hawaii from consideration. (18 December 1893); A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897 (1896 - 1899) edited by James D. Richardson, Vol. IX, pp. 460-472.
- There had been fearful slaughters of soldiers in the First World War, and much of the accumulated treasure of the nations was consumed. Still, apart from the excesses of the Russian Revolution, the main fabric of European civilisation remained erect at the close of the struggle. When the storm and dust of the cannonade passed suddenly away, the nations despite their enmities could still recognise each other as historic racial personalities. The laws of war had on the whole been respected. There was a common professional meeting-ground between military men who had fought one another. Vanquished and victors alike still preserved the semblance of civilised states. A solemn peace was made which, apart from unenforceable financial aspects, conformed to the principles which in the nineteenth century had increasingly regulated the relations of enlightened peoples. The reign of law was proclaimed, and a World Instrument was formed to guard us all, and especially Europe, against a renewed convulsion. In the Second World War every bond between man and man was to perish. Crimes were committed by the Germans, under the Hitlerite domination to which they allowed themselves to be subjected, which find no equal in scale and wickedness with any that have darkened the human record. The wholesale massacre by systematised processes of six or seven millions of men, women, and children in the German execution camps exceeds in horror the rough-and-ready butcheries of Genghis Khan, and in scale reduces them to pigmy proportions. Deliberate extermination of whole populations was contemplated and pursued by both Germany and Russia in the Eastern war. The hideous process of bombarding open cities from the air, once started by the Germans, was repaid twenty-fold by the ever-mounting power of the Allies, and found its culmination in the use of the atomic bombs which obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have at length emerged from a scene of material ruin and moral havoc the like of which had never darkened the imagination of former centuries. After all that we suffered and achieved, we find ourselves still confronted with problems and perils not less but far more formidable than those through which we have so narrowly made our way.
- It was disclosed that the U.S. Army had prohibited the press, the Red Cross, and other outside observers from entering the heavily bombed areas for three days, while soldiers incinerated and buried the casualties. The press asked questions about how much evidence of criminal and other inappropriate behavior was destroyed, and about how many died because they were denied timely medical attention, but such questions were never answered... We shall never know many of the facts about the [U.S.] invasion [of Panama], nor shall we know the true extent of the massacre. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney claimed a death toll between five hundred and six hundred, but independent human rights groups estimated it at three thousand to five thousand, with another twenty-five thousand left homeless... Noriega was arrested, flown to Miami, and sentenced to forty years' imprisonment; at that time, he was the only person in the United States officially classified as a prisoner of war... The world was outraged by this breach of international law and by the needless destruction of a defenseless people at the hands of the most powerful military force on the planet, but few in the United States were aware of either the outrage or the crimes Washington had committed. Press coverage was very limited. A number of factors contributed to this, including government policy, White House phone calls to publishers and television executives, congress people who dared not object, lest the wimp factor become their problem, and journalists who thought the public needed heroes rather than objectivity.
- Orwell's 1984 explained that "the special function of certain Newspeak words … was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them." During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons... At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear... When terrorists attack, they’re terrorizing. When we attack, we’re retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they’re terrorizing again... No matter how many times they’ve lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they... [say] the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us.... Might doesn’t make right — except in the real world, when it’s American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law.
- The establishment of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been considered illegal by the international community and by the majority of legal scholars.
- Marco Pertile in ""Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the OPT": A Missed Opportunity for the Development of International Humanitarian Law?". Italian Yearbook of International Law. (2005). ISBN 978-90-04-15027-0.
- On April 18, 2006, I had my first confirmed kill. This man was innocent. He was walking back to his house, and I shot him in front of his friend and his father. The first round didn't kill him, after I had hit him up here in his neck area. And afterwards he started screaming and looked right into my eyes. So I looked at my friend and I said, 'Well, I cant let that happen.' So I took another shot and took him out. He was then carried away by the rest of his family. We were all congratulated after we had our first kills, and that happened to have been mine. My company commander personally congratulated me, as he did everyone else in our company. This is the same individual who had stated that whoever gets their first kill by stabbing them to death will get a four-day pass when we return from Iraq... (Testimony given at the Winter Soldier Hearings sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War,
- Jon Michael Turner quoted in Washington's Wars and Occupations: Month in Review #35, by Max Elbaum, LeftTurn, (30 March 2008)
- The European Union and many of its countries, which used to take initiatives in the United Nations for peaceful settlements of conflict, are now one of the most important war assets of the U.S./NATO front. Many countries have also been drawn into complicity in breaking international law through U.S./U.K./NATO wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and so on. It is for this reason that I believe NATO should be abolished and that steps be taken towards disarmament through non-violent action and civil resistance. The means of resistance are very important. Our message that armed groups, militarism and war do not solve our problems but aggravate them challenges us to use new ways and that is why we need to teach the science of peace at every level of society.
- Mairead Maguire in The Disturbing Expansion of the Military-Industrial Complex, Common Dreams, (14 October 2014)
- A lawsuit against members of the Bush administration for their role in the invasion of Iraq recently received noteworthy support from an internationally prominent group of lawyers—including a former U.S. attorney general. The group is asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the class action suit on grounds that the U.S.-led war was an illegal act of aggression in violation of international guidelines as defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II.
Iraqi mother Sundus Saleh filed the lawsuit on May 27 against former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, stating they “broke the law in conspiring and committing the crime of aggression against the people of Iraq.” Her complaint filed to the court reads: Defendants planned the war against Iraq as early as 1998; manipulated the United States public to support the war by scaring them with images of ‘mushroom clouds’ and conflating the Hussein regime with al-Qaeda; and broke international law by commencing the invasion without proper legal authorization. More than sixty years ago, American prosecutors in Nuremberg, Germany convicted Nazi leaders of the crimes of conspiring and waging wars of aggression. They found the Nazis guilty of planning and waging wars that had no basis in law and which killed millions of innocents.
- Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark Joins Lawsuit against Bush, Cheney, Et Al for Illegal War in Iraq’ By Claire Bernish, Global Research, (18 June 2015)
- The amicus brief submitted on Saleh’s behalf by the group of attorneys—including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the former president of the National Lawyers Guild, a founding board member of the International Commission for Labor Rights, and the co-chair of the International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, among others — states that the previous court was “forbidden” to use Westfall protections to dismiss the charges because the Nuremberg Tribunal established “norms” that prohibit “the use of domestic laws as shields to allegations of aggression […] National leaders, even American leaders, do not have the authority to commit aggression and cannot be immune from allegations they have done so.”
A second amicus brief was also filed by the nonprofit Planethood Foundation — a compelling action in itself, considering the organization was established in 1996 by the sole surviving Nuremberg chief prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz. This brief cautions that “those in positions of power” should not be allowed to subvert their influence to escape responsibility for their crimes. This brief cites the U.N. statement given after Nuremberg proceedings that, “planning, initiating, or waging a war of aggression is a crime against humanity for which individuals as well as states shall be tried before the bar of international justice.”
The significance of these briefs cannot be overstated amidst increasing international attention on the case. Calls to charge the Bush administration for war crimes have grown intense as recent reports estimate well over one million people have died as a result of the Iraq war.
- Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark Joins Lawsuit against Bush, Cheney, Et Al for Illegal War in Iraq’ By Claire Bernish, Global Research, (18 June 2015)
- What does torture have in common with genocide, slavery and wars of aggression? They are all “jus cogens.” That’s Latin for “higher law” or “compelling law.” This means that under international law, no country can ever pass a law that allows torture. There can be no immunity from criminal liability for violation of a “jus cogens” prohibition. The United States has always prohibited torture — in our Constitution, laws, executive orders, judicial decisions and treaties. When we ratify a treaty, it becomes part of US law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture,” the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the US ratified, states unequivocally. Torture is considered a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, also ratified by the United States. Geneva classifies grave breaches as war crimes. The US War Crimes Act and 18 USC, sections 818 and 3231, punish torture, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment. And the Torture Statute criminalizes the commission, attempt, or conspiracy to commit torture outside the United States.
- Predictably, without any proof whatsoever, and in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, the US, the UK and France criminally attacked a country, Syria that had not attacked them... These three countries are acting with the barbarism that their vast military arsenals makes not only possible, but tempting... (the scandalous contemporary record of the USA in the use of assassinations of foreign leaders, and their subjects would consume a vast library)... Suffice it to mention the more than 23 assassination attempts against Cuban President, Fidel Castro, to which the CIA has admitted, since 1950 the targets of the USA’s assassination attempts have included the Congo’s leader, Patrice Lumumba, Indonesia’s President Sukarno, the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, Chilean General Rene Schneider, Bolivian President Torres, murdered in Argentina, Chilean General Carlos Prats, to mention only a few of the targets of assassination by the “intelligence” agencies of the USA.
- Carla Stea: Mass Hysteria Grips the United Nations Security Council: Russophobia Is a Dangerous Psychosis (1 May 2018)
- The Prosecutor mandated to oversee the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the International Criminal Court (ICC) stated on Wednesday that her office is keeping “a close eye” on the planned demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank by Israeli authorities, warning that, according to international law, it could constitute a “war crime”...the village is one of dozens affected by an Israeli settlement reorganization plan... “It bears recalling, as a general matter,” said the ICC Prosecutor, “that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute.”
- West Bank: ‘imminent’ demolition of Palestinian village could be ‘war crime’ – ICC Prosecutor, UN News, (17 October 2018)
- Your national representatives... want to invade and intervene in Venezuela – they say... in the name of democracy and freedom. But it’s... as false as the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq... This complex multiform aggression is carried out with total impunity and in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations, which expressly outlaws the threat or use of force, among other principles... for the sake of peace and the friendly relations between the Nations
- Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela: An Open Letter To The People Of The U.S. From President Nicolás Maduro (10 February 2019)
- Washington’s attack on Venezuela is in violation of established international law. “The principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States belong to customary international law and have been reaffirmed in General Assembly resolutions, notably 2625 (XXV) and 3314 (XXIX), and in the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Article 32 of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, adopted by the General Assembly in 1974, stipulates that no State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights.” Chapter 4, article 19, of the Charter of the OAS stipulates that “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”
- Paul Craig Roberts in Corporate Media “Presstitutes” Turn Blind Eye to UN Report on Venezuela, (9 March 2019)
- Years ago, when I investigated the particular set of crimes mentioned above that were carried out by U.S. military intelligence personnel in Vietnam, I found that only three of the soldiers involved were even punished. And by punished, I mean that the three received fines or reductions in rank. None served any prison time. One of the admitted torturers I spoke with was still unrepentant. He explained to me that, were he placed in the same situation again, he would do exactly the same things. And why wouldn’t he? You don’t find Americans in the dock at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- TomDispatch: Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Turning Our Backs on Nuremberg, (26 March 2019)
- The problem the Great Powers now faced (after world war II) was how to create a process that the world would consider something more than vengeance masquerading as righteousness, something more than “victors’ justice.” The solution was to demonstrate that their prosecutions had a basis in the Geneva Conventions and other international treaties -- in, that is, the already existing laws of war. In the process of designing those prosecutions, they consolidated and advanced the meaning and power of international law itself, a concept particularly needed in a postwar world of atomic weapons and a looming U.S.-Soviet conflict. Three-quarters of a century and many wars and weapon systems later, enforceable international law still remains humanity’s best hope for adjudicating past war crimes and preventing future ones -- but only if great nations like the United States do not declare themselves exceptions to the rule of law.
- TomDispatch: Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Turning Our Backs on Nuremberg, (26 March 2019)
- On March 18th, Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines became the second country to leave the ICC, where it, like the U.S., is being investigated for possible crimes -- in its case, against its own people. As the Washington Post reports, the country is “under preliminary examination [by the ICC] for thousands of [domestic drug war] killings since Duterte rose to the presidency in 2016.”
In its menacing rejection of the court, the Trump administration is turning its back on the system of international law and justice the United States helped establish at Nuremberg. The rule of law must not hold only, as hotelier Leona Helmsley once said about taxes, for “the little people.”... international law is not just for the little countries. The greater a world power, the more consequential is its submission to the rule of law. The attacks of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo on the ICC, however, simply represent a new spate of lawless actions from a lawless administration in an increasingly lawless era in Washington.
- TomDispatch: Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Turning Our Backs on Nuremberg, (26 March 2019)
- Recently, hundreds of PBS stations around the United States were scheduled to broadcast a powerful new Frontline documentary: One Day in Gaza. But viewers tuning in found that it had been replaced... The documentary was to be aired on the one-year anniversary of events that took place on May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Gaza gathered with the intention of deploying the tactics Gandhi had used in freeing India from British control... Palestinians months earlier had announced their plan for a mass, peaceful demonstration in which Gazans would march for an end to Israel’s crippling 12-year blockade and, especially, for their right to return to homes stolen by Israel... Palestinians’ right to return to their homes and ancestral land is well established in international law.... Israel had responded by immediately deploying a hundred snipers. In the first seven weekly marches, Israeli forces killed about 50 of the marchers and injured over 7,000. During the 8th march on May 14, the day depicted in the film, Israeli forces killed 60 more and shot 1,000 – an average of one person every 30 seconds.
- View the Frontline Documentary on Gaza that PBS pulled, Alison Weir, Council for the National Interest, 23 May 2019
- The United States should have an equal and simultaneous support for both the legitimate security concerns of Israel, and the human rights, dignity and economic opportunities of the Palestinian people... I do not believe the settlements on the West Bank are legal. Also, I would rescind the president's affirmation of sovereignty of Israel over the Golan Heights. I understand the occupation of the Golan Heights, but only until there is a stable government in Syria with whom one can negotiate. According to international law, the occupation of a territory does not give the occupying country a right to annex it. Also, according to international law, the resources of the occupied territory are to be used for the good of those living there. I also do not support the blockade of Gaza.
- Marianne Williamson in Candidates Answer CFR's Questions Marianne Williamson, Council on Foreign Relations, August 16, 2019
- The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said last month that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. She also asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case. Her request to the court, which exceeded the 30-page limit, was accompanied by a request to extend the page limit to 110 pages, citing “the unique and complex factual and legal circumstances in this situation.” ... According to Haaretz, the ruling means a decision on Bensouda pushing ahead with the case will be delayed by several months. International law expert Nick Kaufman wrote.. that the decision was a “slap in the face” of Bensouda. ...Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, has said the court has no jurisdiction and accused Bensouda of being driven by anti-Semitism... she recently told The Times of Israel that accusing her of anti-Semitism was “particularly regrettable” and “without merit... I, along with my Office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity. We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favor,” she said
- The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or “World Order”) in which “Might makes right,” and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster “law,” ruling on an international level... The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it... On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet, “The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq” and wrote that “our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion,” and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.... On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered “US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone”, and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime’s invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).
- Bush’s successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush’s trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush’s successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter.
The actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute” (which was only “Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians” and which ignored the real crime, which was “aggressive war” or “the crime of aggression” — the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg).
Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world’s most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn’t, Barack Obama repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which likewise means that every other nation is “dispensable.”
- The February meeting of NATO... defense ministers... revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China... NATO seems oblivious to the changing dynamics of today's world, as if it were living on a different planet. Its one-sided Reflection Group report cites Russia's violation of international law in Crimea as a principal cause of deteriorating relations with the West, and insists that Russia must "return to full compliance with international law." But it ignores the U.S. and NATO's far more numerous violations of international law and leading role in the tensions fueling the renewed Cold War: Illegal invasions of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq... broken agreement over NATO expansion into Eastern Europe... U.S. withdrawals from important arms control treaties... More than 300,000 bombs and missiles dropped on other countries by the U.S. and its allies since 2001... U.S. proxy wars in Libya and Syria, which plunged both countries into chaos, revived Al Qaeda and spawned the Islamic State.. U.S. management of the 2014 coup in Ukraine, which led to economic collapse, Russian annexation of Crimea and civil war in Eastern Ukraine... The stark reality of the U.S. record as a serial aggressor whose offensive war machine dwarfs Russia's defense spending by 11 to 1 and China's by 2.8 to 1, even without counting other NATO countries' military spending.
- Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, What Planet Is NATO Living On? It's No Longer Useful to This One Salon, (24 February 2021)
- The U.S. corporate media usually report on Israeli military assaults in occupied Palestine as if the United States is an innocent neutral party to the conflict. In fact, large majorities of Americans have told pollsters for decades that they want the United States to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But U.S. media and politicians betray their own lack of neutrality by blaming Palestinians for nearly all the violence and framing flagrantly disproportionate, indiscriminate and therefore illegal Israeli attacks as a justifiable response to Palestinian actions.
The classic formulation from U.S. officials and commentators is that "Israel has the right to defend itself," never "Palestinians have the right to defend themselves," even as the Israelis massacre hundreds of Palestinian civilians, destroy thousands of Palestinian homes and seize ever more Palestinian land... US policy must be reversed to reflect international law and the shifting US opinion in favor of Palestinian rights. Every Member of Congress must be pushed to sign the bill introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum insisting that US funds to Israel are not used "to support the military detention of Palestinian children, the unlawful seizure, appropriation, and destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the West Bank, or further annexation of Palestinian land in violation of international law."
- I urge the Israeli authorities to abide by the laws governing armed conflict, including the proportionate use of force. I call on them to exercise maximum restraint in the conduct of military operations. I likewise urge Hamas and other militant groups to stop the indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars from highly populated civilian neighbourhoods into civilian population centres in Israel, also in clear violation of international humanitarian law. Densely populated civilian areas must not be used for military purposes... I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. All settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law. A revitalized peace process is the only route to a just and lasting solution...
- Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General’s Remarks to the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General, Statements, (20 May 2021)
- Venezuela called on the United States to respect international law and the country’s sovereignty today... Washington has long sought the overthrow of Venezuela, which it has previously included in a so-called “troika of tyranny” along with Cuba and Nicaragua. It has backed a series of failed coups while the Bolivarian government has submitted claims against the US in the International Criminal Court over its illegal use of coercive sanctions.
- The problems with Russia are not just NATO expansion. There were also a process that began with the second Bush administration of withdrawing from all of the arms control — almost all of the arms control agreements that we had concluded with the Soviet Union, the very agreements that had brought the first Cold War to an end.... In effect, what the United States did after the end of the Cold War was they reversed the diplomacy that we had used to end the Cold War, and started sort of doing anything, everything the opposite way. We started, in effect, trying to control other countries, to bring them into what we called the “new world order,” but it was not very orderly. And we also sort of asserted the right to use military whenever we wished. We bombed Serbia in the ’90s without the approval of the U.N. Later, we invaded Iraq, citing false evidence and without any U.N. approval and against the advice not only of Russia but of Germany and France, our allies. So, the United States — I could name a number of others — itself was not careful in abiding by the international laws that we had supported.
- Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe's The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 105-106.
- Writers on international law . . . cannot make the law … it must have received the assent of the nations who are to be bound by it. This assent may be express … or may be implied from established usage.
- Sir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet, C.J., The Queen v. Keyn; "The Franconia" (1876), 2 L. R. Ex. D. 202.
- International law is part of the common law.
- Pigott, B., Attorney General v. Sillem and others, " The Alexandra" (1864), 12 W. R. 258.
- International law, like the moral law, is part of the law of England, but only to the extent that the Courts will not help those that break it.
- Sir Frederick Pollock, 1st Baronet, Attorney-General v. Sillem and others, "The Alexandra " (1864), 12 W. R. 258.
- In questions of international law we should not depart from any settled decisions, nor lay down any doctrine inconsistent with them.
- William Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, L.C., Udny v. Udny (1869), L. R. 1 Sc. & Div. Ap. Ca. 454.
- A great part of the law of nations stands upon the usage and practice of nations. It is introduced, indeed, by general principles: but it travels with those general principles only to a certain extent: and, if it stops there, you are not at liberty to go further, and to say, that mere general speculations would bear you out in a further progress— thus, for instance, on mere general principles it is lawful to destroy your enemy; and mere general principles make no great difference as to the manner by which this is to be effected; but the conventional law of mankind, which is evidenced in their practice, does make a distinction, and allows some, and prohibits other, modes of destruction.
- Sir W. Scott, "The Flad Oyen" (1799), 1 C. Rob. 140.
- The voluntary law of nations derives its force from the presumed consent of nations, the conventional from their express consent; the consuetudinary from their tacit consent.
- Wolfus, "Jus Gentium" (Prolegomena), § 25.