Take-home exam Essay Example

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The onset of globalization saw many nations, parties, and individuals interact and transact with their counterparts in far away geographical regions. In the past, this was never the case due to the preference for closed economies. With the increasing outside contact, the world has had to come up with international organizations to facilitate harmonious coexistence of the stakeholders. These bodies have been tasked with the mandate to facilitate better relations for parties from diverse backgrounds. In this regard, such international organizations have been at the forefront in efforts to uphold international for this is one of the ways to undertake their mandate. This paper looks at the responsibility of international organizations in formulating and enforcing international laws.

Neutral agent

In some cases, a momentary issue in the international arena or one spanning across the jurisdiction of various regimes might require the cooperation of several states. But in reality this might be impossible because the stakeholders might find it difficult to work together. This comes about due to differences in protocol or coordination which might stand in the way of harmonious cooperation (Keith 2013 page 351). Therefore, in such cases such parties can choose to delegate the task at hand to an international organization. They will only be required to provide it with the necessary resources to undertake the delegated task. International organizations come in handy to enforce international laws where sovereignty handicaps efforts by regimes to do so.

The best example is in Interpol, which is an international organization that allows cooperation among police from various nations. Such an organization has to maintain impartiality in order not to be seen to be promoting individual interests or violating the sovereignty of member states. Interpol has been very successful in the fight against cross-border crimes which often leave domestic law enforcers helpless in efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice (Enders and Sandler 2011 page 267). The latter often have to rely on the goodwill of regional or international regimes to bring the perpetrators within their areas of jurisdiction to book. But with Interpol this has become much easier since their mandate spans across various member states. They work side by side with various law enforcement agencies across the world to ensure adherence to domestic, regional, and international laws.

Law making function

In the past, international organizations had very little powers in as far as law-making function is concerned. They had to stick to the mandate chartered for them during their founding. Furthermore, they had to seek the consent of member states before any formulated laws could be binding. However, times have changed. International organizations now have the powers to formulate binding laws with or without the consent of member states (Keith 2013 page 353). The only condition is that they have to stick to their mandates and not to encroach on the role of other similar bodies. Any laws formulated within their jurisdiction will be binding to all signatories to the treaties for setting up the international body.

The best example is in the European Union which has been seeking to harmonize the legislations in member states. The body formulates laws to govern various domestic issues and which every member is required to abide by. To demonstrate the power wielded by the EU, the UK has been considering leaving the block citing various issues but key among them is the requirement to embrace the Euro currency (Moagar-Poladian et al 2015 page 39). The kingdom takes pride in its much stronger domestic currency but has to adopt the new currency as a member of the economic block. In this situation, there is no room for dissenting opinion or consent from member states. It is their obligation to adopt all legislations passed by the international body. This is sufficient evidence for the increasing power of international organizations to hold signatories to account.

International law enforcement

Due to sovereignty of states, it becomes difficult for third parties to intervene in domestic issues of various nations. In the past, this has led to matters spinning out of control when intervention by the regional or international community would have been sufficient to turn the situation around for the better. One of such is the infamous 1994 Rwanda genocide where many innocent civilians lost their lives while the international community stood aside and watched (Simon 2006 page 525). This prompted the world to be more vigilant and to intervene in situations that could quickly get out of hand. This is also the reason why several powers have had to intervene in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and more recently Syria in efforts to avert catastrophes. However, intervention by individual global powers often drags them into the conflicts and further complicates the situation as witnessed the above mentioned countries. Sometimes the intervening powers have even been accused of harboring selfish intentions in their actions. It would be much better if a neutral body with no individual interests undertook such a delicate task.

An international organization such as the United Nations relies on voting to ratify decisions. Its security arm, the UN Security Council comprises of permanent and non permanent members. Any security matter brought before it will be subjected to a vote before any action can be taken. The council requires nine votes from members to ratify a decision but only in the absence of dissent from a permanent member (Henderson and Lubell 2013 page 380). After the voting process, the UN receives the mandate to enforce whatever decision members have arrived at. For instance, the UN often intervenes in domestic conflicts as a peacekeeping entity to try and restore normalcy. Its mandate is to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further in the hope to restore law and order in war-torn countries.

Custodian of the international law

Normally, various regimes have judiciary arms to ensure that parties within their areas of jurisdiction abide by the laws that are in place. The judiciary often prescribes a wide range of punishments for those found to be in breach of the legislations. However, this is in the domestic scene. As mention, it is difficult to uphold the law in areas not falling under a certain regime’s territory. In other cases, tyrants hide behind the protection provided by sovereignty of their countries to perpetrate abuse of rights of those perceived to be opposing them (Ikejiaku 2014 page 131). Furthermore, what happens when an international organization flouts international laws? For instance, the world football governing body FIFA has come under fire after reports surfaced indicating massive bribery in the awarding of hosting rights. All these cases present ambiguous situations which can fuel impunity in the international scene. For this reason, there are international organizations that deal with such cases.

Such international organizations include International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice among others. These have the mandate to try any individual or body suspected of flouting international laws or those getting away with impunity in the domestic scene (Villalpando 2013 page 245). Therefore, international organizations have the power to check the actions of their peers in the international arena and to ensure they stick to regulations like other parties. In other cases, these bodies can also arbitrate or offer explanations of laws for issues touching on two countries. They can provide an unbiased opinion to charter the way forward in cases touching on two sovereign entities. In the business world, globalization has resulted in parties in different countries transacting with one another. In such scenarios, misunderstandings or breach of contracts might occur. It would prove difficult to resolve such issues since their countries of origins might have conflicting laws on the contentious issues. This is why international bodies such as International Chamber of Commerce and International Court of Arbitration exist to arbitrate on business disputes in the international scene. Such parties can take the cases to these bodies for a ruling on the way forward.


International organizations play critical roles in ensuring adherence to the international laws. Theirs has been to ensure that they go an extra mile to address areas beyond the jurisdiction of regimes in sovereign states. These organizations have come a long way in that they now wield substantial power as opposed to the past situation. As mentioned, their number keeps and rising and there is at least one international organization in every aspect of the globalization attempt. The way forward for these organizations is to learn from one another to ensure that they introduce efficiency in carrying out their mandate.


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