International Law Western and Islamic Perspective

Topics: Law, Sharia, Qur'an Pages: 10 (2719 words) Published: January 6, 2013
International law western and Islamic perspective

Submitted to; Sir Akhter Hussain
Submitted by; Sadia MasoodBS
Comparison of Siyar and International law

From the very first day when man began to organize them selves in political communities they have felt the need for some rules and regulations to regulate their inter-community relations. And with the passage of time now we reached to a time o f international relations rather than the relations among small communities or tribes. And there is need to regulate the relations among states.

The topic of our discussion is comparison of Siyar and International law. Both deals with same issues of war and peace but differently so there is a need to understand both the systems. First part of this paper will deal with international law and the second part will be dealt with Siyar the Muslim international law.

International law

Jeremy Bentham first used the term in 1780, and later on it is defined by important jurists and philosophers such as Lawrence defines the International law as “the rules which determine the conduct of the general body of civilized states in their mutual dealings”.

According to professor briefly international law is “the body of rules and principals of action which are binding upon civilized states in their relations with one another”.

International law consists of the rules and principals of general application dealing with the conduct of states and of international organizations in their international relations with one another and with private individuals, minority groups and transnational companies.

In strict legal sense international law can not be a law and it is important topic of discussion to jurists to define international law as a law.If we look into the definition of law as given by T.E Holland “law is general rule of external human action enforced by a sovereign political authority” we can better understand that there is no sovereign authority in international system.

John Austin a writer of jurisprudence has mentioned that international law is not true law, but a code of rules of conduct of moral force only. He defines law as a rule of conduct imposed and enforced by the sovereign. Bentham also criticized international law as a law. All these writers do not accept international law as law because of the absence of sovereign authority, which is responsible to impose sanctions upon those who violate the laws. And consider it as positive morality rather then law.

On the other hand people who favored it as a law are the view that it is law and must be respected as law. Sir Henry Maine while criticizing the Austinion concept of law observes that men do some times obey rules for fear of punishment, but compared with the mass of men in each society this class is bit small, perhaps it is restricted to what are called criminal classes. The largest numbers of rules which men obey are obeyed unconsciously from a mere habit of mind.

The debate is still going on we have to do nothing with the legal status of international law but to know what international law is all about.

The term international law reefed to two distinct disciplines 1. Public international law
2. Private international law

Under the fist category comes international institutions such and Organizations, States, problems related to seas, liberation movement etc. the second category private international law deals with state and foreign elements within that state.


It is only dated back to sixteenth and seventieth century. Some writers also included ancient history to it as a development toward a globalized world. In that respect, important concepts are derived from the practice between Greek city-states and the Roman law. After the fall of both the great empires when city states merged for the first time there was need to develop some kind of rules to bind them altogether. Existing international system is basically outcome of two...
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