What Does International Law Address
What Does International Law Address

International law has developed certain areas of practice, guided by their own principles, documents, and institutions. Even though these areas of expertise can stand alone, to a certain extent, boundaries drawn in international law are arbitrary because the underlying principles of each field both inform and compete with one another.

For example, both the laws of armed conflict and human rights support each other in the belief that state official torture is condemnable. The condemnation is doubly reinforced by its affirmation in both fields. On the other hand, principles of international economic law may counteract principles in international environmental law, as evidenced by the possible conflicts between industrial development and environmental preservation.

International issues also do not often fit neatly into a single category; the treaty on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), for example, combines concerns in both economic and human rights fields, with the principles of each field dictating different results. The following sections of this Issue in Depth address some of the major areas addressed by international law.

 

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