Law for International Business

The framers of the Charter of the United Nations, like those of the Covenant of the League of Nations, have provided for an agency whose principal function is to apply legal techniques in the resolution of international controversies and problems. This agency is the International Court of Justice, which is described as one of "the principal organs" and as "the principal judicial organ" of the United Nations (Deutsch, 2002, pp.15). The primary function in International Law of the International Court of Justice is to maintain international peace and security. The means by which this function is to be carried out fall into four sources of international law:

1) International conventions (general known as treaties), whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting States;

2) International custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;

3) The general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;

4) Judicial decisions. (Deutsch, 2002, pp. 17) It is evident that these categories are interrelated. For example, the treaties are settlement of disputes and in the International customs may be expected to reduce fear and generate confidence, thereby helping to develop a feeling of genuine community among companies, which in turn may facilitate the further development of institutions for the maintenance of a prosperous, orderly organized business relations.

Nevertheless, most of the historically recorded systems of law have been developed by a combination of three processes:

(1) Habitual adherence of the members of the community to certain lines of conduct (custom);

(2) ?xpress enactment of standards of behavior binding on all the members of the community to whom the enactment applies regardless of their consent (statutory legislation);

(3) Repetition and generalization of decisions made by the decision-making authorities (such as courts) with binding effect in particular controversies (precedent or case law). Since international law has developed in a community of independent states, there has been no single organ possessed of authority to resolve by express enactment or by adjudication with binding effect the clashes of policy and interest that frequently occur between groups of states. (Fischer, 2002, p.12) There is no world legislature. Treaty-making, although it is of great importance in supplementing the rules of general international law, is not an entirely adequate substitute for legislation, since treaties are binding only on states which agree to be bound by them, and very few treaties have had universal acceptance. As a legal creation, a business enterprise does not possess an inherent right to exist. Corporations are granted their existence by the human societies within which they are chartered. The corporation's charter and the laws governing its operations form the legal contract between the society's real people and the created business person. The corollary of this power of legal creation is a society's ability to revoke a corporation's charter or, effectively, to "kill" the enterprise. The justification for such an action springs from the rationale for the corporation's initial creation. Fundamentally, a society sanctions a corporation's existence if the enterprise (1) will create something useful for the society and (2) will not har m the society or, if harm is done, the useful good outweighs the harm. (Bridge, 2004, pp. 23) Rationally, what society should grant, or sustain, the operational life of a corporation that creates no good or, even worse, actively harms more than helps that society? ...



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