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Addressing conflicts, peace, order in international relations

By Guardian Nigeria
17 November 2021   |   2:20 am
The author, in this piece, sheds light on diverse concepts and sources of international law and the dichotomy between it and municipal laws, state sovereignty and community, jurisprudence and general principles amid emerging multilateral challenges.

The author, in this piece, sheds light on diverse concepts and sources of international law and the dichotomy between it and municipal laws, state sovereignty and community, jurisprudence and general principles amid emerging multilateral challenges.

Of the myriad definitions, Michael Abiodun finds that of Fenwick as more comprehensive and holistic standpoint,t as he defines it in broad terms as the body of general principles and specific rules, which are binding upon the members of the international community in their mutual relations.

He says his definition takes into account the changes that have taken place after the Second World War while the phrase ‘members of international community’ include states, international institutions, individuals and non-state entities.

He says “the encompassing character of Fenwick’s conception of international law scores the noble point of recognising growing trends and such changes that will shape the immediate and the far future.”

The author structures the book into four parts of 12 chapters. Part 1 gives background to aid understanding of the subject while Part 2 examines the controversies in International Law. In Part 3, he delves into effort at resolving the unresolved questions and contentions in International Law and in Part 4, the discourse shifts to the Utility of Use of Force, which begins in Chapter 11.

In all, Abiodun highlights and the intricacies, dynamics, politics, power play, controversies and questions on international law which often stir up debates among professionals and other stakeholders which border on bias, contradictions and inconsistencies in international law, separation of powers, governance structure on international level, state sovereignty and equality, international humanitarian law, status of armed groups, hierarchy and sources of international law.

Others are human rights issues, globalisation and trade relations, status and binding nature of UN and Security Council resolutions in shaping international relations and judicial systems.

He also examines the role of international organisations, territorial and trans-border concerns, conflict and dispute resolutions process including questions of legitimacy and discrimination beclouding operations and jurisdictions of International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, among others.

The author, however, notes that the oneness of the international system designed with a focus on the three courses of human face, human feelings and human facts borne by objectivity defaces inhumanity and thus solves most problems.

He writes, “However, when the coinage and which remain cornerstone of the international system shifts from the three courses thereby ceding spaces and reflecting in the dynamics of an unequal comity of nations, then questions surrounding its legitimacy will arise and subsist.”

He, however, contends that notwithstanding the question of legitimacy of international law and international institutions, it cannot be waived aside simply because the law-making processes lack legislative branch.

The book contends that although the word of the five permanent members of the UN is supreme, uncontestable and lack democratic tenets, it does not weaken the phases of international law and international institutions overseeing the affairs of the international system.

“Our world is undoubtedly largely more peaceful in more modern era because the international system has translated the willful efforts and the actions of international institutions and the transnational laws which ensure safety, decry crimes of egregious kinds and insure human security, human rights, prosecutions and international peace into such coordinated arrangements which now informs us more that our world and the relationship we share in humanity’s kingdom and not the anarchies prevalent in animal kingdoms,” writes the author.

In his assessment of the book, Mr. Dayo Apata, Solicitor- General of the Federation/Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, in the Foreword writes, “The author has glaringly manifested an in-depth research on contemporary issues in this instant work which critically examines or interrogates the dynamics and intricacies of International Law, Politics and Power.”

The book is a resource material for students and researchers on issues bordering on international law and diplomacy or international relations. All those interested in world peace, conflict resolutions of internal and international conflicts will find the book a very useful resource.

Michael Adekunle Abiodun, a prolific and versatile writer of note, with so many books of international standard to his credit, including ‘The Science of International Law In Contemporary Era,’ ‘The Power of the Undiscovered Weapon,’ ‘Security Rights in the wake of Modern Terrorism: The Comparative Survey of the Legal Experiences of African, American, and European States (aka) Interfacing the Jurisprudences of Six International States on the Subjects of Rights, Security and Reason in the Age of Terrorism,” among other 18 titles.

He holds a Master’s Degree (LLM) in International Commercial Law of the University Of Aberdeen, United Kingdom. He has also undertaken Doctoral Studies in Human Rights, Security and UK Anti-Terrorism Laws from the same university.

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