The role of international law in global governance

The role of international law in global governance

International law plays a crucial role in maintaining global governance and promoting peaceful relations among nations. It serves as a framework for resolving disputes, setting standards and fostering cooperation between states. International law encompasses a wide range of legal principles, treaties and conventions that govern the conduct of states and other international actors.

Promote peace and security

One of the main roles of international law is to promote peace and security. It provides mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes and discourages the use of force in the resolution of disputes. The United Nations, through its Charter, is at the forefront of maintaining peace and security by encouraging cooperation among its Member States and establishing rules to prevent conflicts from escalating into large-scale wars.

Protect human rights

International law also plays a crucial role in the protection and promotion of human rights around the world. Human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, establish the fundamental rights and freedoms to which individuals are entitled. International law holds states responsible for human rights violations and ensures that individuals have access to justice and remedies for abuses.

Meeting global challenges

The challenges facing the international community, such as climate change, terrorism and cross-border crime, require collective action and cooperation. International law provides a framework for addressing these challenges by establishing norms and regulations that govern state behavior. Treaties like the Paris Agreement on climate change and the conventions against terrorism and organized crime show how international law can be used to tackle global issues that transcend national borders.

Regulate international trade and commerce

International law also plays a vital role in regulating international trade and commerce. Globalization has interconnected economies, and international law provides a set of rules and principles that ensure fair and transparent business practices. The World Trade Organization (WTO) oversees the application of international trade rules and settles disputes between member states, promoting a level playing field for countries and fostering economic development.


The role of international law in global governance cannot be underestimated. It provides a basis for peaceful relations, protects human rights, addresses global challenges and regulates international trade. International law promotes a rules-based international order that fosters cooperation, stability and development in today’s interconnected world. As the world continues to face new and complex challenges, the importance of international law in global governance will only grow.