International law is much in the news these days, albeit often because of breaches by one party or another. Whether one points to the later years of the Kyoto Protocol, the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, transboundary water conventions, dispute adjudication protocols under the World Trade Organization (WTO), or human rights violations in Rakhine State in Myanmar, we find serious problems upholding international agreements, whether formal and explicit, or informal, and based on customary usages. Or, to use legal lingo, whether said agreements and protocols emanate in the former case from ius inter gentes, or ius gentium in the latter.

Getting parties of various kinds first to agree on, then to adhere to international pacts or protocols of any kind is notoriously difficult and always has been, but we can hardly stop trying, can we? Indeed, however difficult it is to bring about and maintain international law today, five...

You do not currently have access to this content.