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International Law and Police Work

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Presentation on theme: "International Law and Police Work"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Law and Police Work
By Innocent Chukwuma Executive Director CLEEN Foundation

2 Overview of Presentation
Duration: 60 minutes Session goal: The aim of this session is to familiarize participants with the broad overview of public international law and its relevance to police work. Session Objectives: On completion of this session, participants will have developed the knowledge required to engage in an overview discussion of the following: Definition of International Law Sources of International Law International Law and National Law Who are Subjects of International Law Enforcement of International Law Relevance of International Law to Police Work

3 Outline of Presentation
Definition of International Law Sources of International Law International Law and National Law Who are Subjects of International Law Enforcement of International Law International Law and Police Work Thank You!

4 Definition and Scope of International Law
International law is a body of rules that govern relations between states, functioning of international institutions/organizations and rights and duties of individuals. International law covers every aspect of relations between States from aviation to Xenophobia and beyond. However, for the purpose of this session, we shall focus on those aspects of international law that are of direct relevant to human rights and humanitarian law

5 Sources of International Law
Convention or Treaties: “International agreements concluded between states in written form and governed by International law, which can be bilateral or multilateral” International Customs: “Evidence of a general practice accepted as law” General Principles of Law as accepted by Civilized Nations Judicial Decisions of International courts and tribunals The teachings of most highly qualified scholars of various nations Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly

6 Relationship Between International Law and National Law
In general, as long as a State carries out its obligations under international law, how it does so is not the concern of International law, except in the area of human rights where states have undertaken to make certain conduct such as torture and genocide a crime punishable under national laws. Not all states agree on the relationship between International Law and National Law Many states adhere to the superiority of international law over national law, meaning that international law will prevail in the event of a conflict between with national law. Other states see International law and national law as two separate legal systems and require formal incorporation of international laws into national law by the legislature before they become operational in the countries. However, from international perspective it is important for you to bear in mind that international law is binding on all states.

7 Who are Subjects of International Law?
Subjects of international law relates to which entities have legal capacities under international law and the extent of that capacity in terms of competence to perform certain acts: Hold of rights and duties under international law; Hold a procedural privilege of prosecuting claims before an international tribunal; Possess interests for which provision is made by international law; and Competence to conclude treaties with other States and international organizations

8 Who are Subjects of International Law? COTD
States Public International Organizations (e.g. United Nations, African Union, North Atlantic Organization, European Union, Organization of American States etc). Individuals: It is part of customary international law that the obligations of international law bind individuals directly regardless of law of their states. Other Entities: An example of such ‘other’ entity would be the Holy See and the Vatican City, which enjoy the status of a State and has international personality.

9 International Law and Police Work
As an agency of the state, the police have a crucial role to play in the enforcement of international law As individuals, police officials are also liable to account for their actions under international law Obedience to superior orders is not an admissible excuse for violation of international law by police officials The Nuremberg Tribunal held that “crimes against international law are committed by men (and women), not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced

10 Thank you!

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