International law is a system of treaties and agreements between nations that governs how nations interact with other nations, citizens of other nations, and businesses of other nations. International law typically falls into two different categories:
- Private international law deals with controversies between private entities, such as people or corporations, which have a significant relationship to more than one nation.
- Public international law concerns the relationships between nations. These include standards of international behavior, the laws of the sea, economic law, diplomatic law, environmental law, human rights law, and humanitarian law. Some principles of public international law are written, or “codified” in a series of treaties, but others are not written down anywhere. These are known as “customary” laws.
Most people never have to interact with international law. Those that do interact with international law are part of a large corporation’s legal team or victims of international human rights abuses seeking asylum in safer countries.
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.