Online Law Tuition – Increasingly Popular Among Private Law Tutors

Online law tuition is becoming an increasing popular option both for students and law tutors. Indeed many tutors now prefer to teach their students through Skype and other online services. Some predict that by the year 2017 most LLB tutors will be partaking in online law tuition over traditional localised private tutoring.

There are a number of reasons for this interesting phenomenon. First online law tuition has the benefit of flexibility. Tutors and students often have busy schedules and it is much easier to work around those schedules when there is no need to be in a fixed location. There is also much time and expense saved without having to travel.

Secondly, as any private LLB tutor knows, there are only a certain number of customers in any fixed place. The benefit of online law tuition is that it allows any LLB tutor to reach outside of their location. The whole globe is the market for the online savvy private law tutor.

Third, there has been a proliferation of various tools in recent times to help private law tutors with their online law tuition services. These tools include screen sharing, uploading documents such as essays and dissertations for the private tutor to check through, and interactive whiteboards. Although some of these tools may seem unfamiliar to you now, they may soon become common place to all law tutors who ply their trade in the digital realm.

The average LLB tutor will of course benefit from these advances, but it is not just the teaching side of the LLB tutoring industry that will benefit but also students themselves. Many students who study the LLB do not do so in big city hubs, and will not have access to physical law tutors in the abundance that those in city centres do, but through online law tuition they will be able to get the same high quality education. That means law students that are studying closely related courses to the LLB can tap into the best LLB tutors, a group that includes trainee barristers, academic researchers and first class graduate students.

This is no simple advantage but may make the difference between students who pass their degree and those who end up achieving a first class honours result. In an increasingly competitive law market, good results in the LLB make law students stand apart so that they are more viable as candidates to law firms and the bar. Law tutors play an integral part to the future success of these students.

It is no surprise therefore that with all of these advantages to both tutors and students alike that online tutoring is now displacing localised tuition. It is highly likely in the future that all private law tutors will go online. The future of legal education is one that embodies the digital age. Legal education like all education will become freer and more flexible. It will not be limited by national boundaries.

Law tutors should bear these trends in mind and therefore adapt their practices towards online tuition. The best way to do this is to join online law tutoring agencies and businesses. These businesses provide the marketing and the clients so that the tutor can focus on what she or he really wants: LLB tutoring.

eJuris is an online hub which provides online law tuition services for law students all over the globe, including the sale of law notes.

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LLB Law Revision Tips From Law Tutors

Revising for LLB law exams can be a tough and stressful time for students. Students are often required to digest entire subjects such as contract law, tort law and trusts. This involves memorising the facts and ratios of the leading cases, knowledge of the academic commentary in the area and an understanding of the policies behind the law. There are however a number of techniques to help you with your revision, and this article lists a few, written by law tutors to help you pass your exams.

Most students will have taken lecture and tutorial notes. Often these notes will be too detailed to be of much use in revision, and insofar as learning is required it is usually better to go directly to the academic textbooks or to read the judgments of leading cases in full. If however you are familiar with the material already, the best thing to do is to start writing short notes. The goal of such notes is to concisely go over the subject in a few pages and highlight the main cases that one needs to know. Many law tutor services also offer first class law notes to help you with revision.

Secondly, it is useful to draw thematic mind maps. These are particularly useful when preparing to answer essay questions. When revising the tort of negligence, for example, students can group the material into the duty of care stage, the breach stage and the requirements of remoteness and causation, and finally remedies. Within the duty of care section they could then explore the different tests for duty of care and the relationships between those tests. Thematic mind maps are an excellent way to prepare for essay questions because they ensure that the student understands the major themes in the material and how it links to the substantive law. This ensures that the student is flexible enough to answer a range of different questions because of their core knowledge.

Some students may attempt to preempt certain essay questions by preparing an answer that they then intend to reproduce in the exam. While this strategy may sometimes work, it is inadvisable. If students do not get the questions they want, they will usually flounder. Moreover the question they get may be slightly different and failure to answer the question in its entirety will prevent the student from achieving top marks.

It is also important to discuss the law with your fellow students or, if you use one, a law tutor. It is true that throughout the year, most students will want to avoid discussing the law and doing additional work. However, when exams approach discussion is a useful way to test your knowledge and open your mind to other interpretations of the law. Of course, your fellow LLB students are not always reliable sources. It may be preferable for some students to therefore seek private law tutors in order to ensure quality of discussion and advice for the exams.

For revision help, first class LLB notes and mooting coaching, why not visit

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Legal Disputes of the Future

Who owns food? Who pays for this accident? Who owns my face? Who owns the Arctic? Who owns the Pacific Ocean? Who owns the sky? These sound like some ridiculous questions at first glance but let’s take a second look at the future through the Great Karnak’s trusty crystal ball.

Who owns food?

Let’s start with this one, since it has, more or less, already taken place. A small landowner in Nebraska named Bill parks his tractor in the shed after a long day of work in the fields. He wipes sixteen hours worth of sweat off his brow while he opens his mail. All bills. Two men in dark suits approach him at the front door and hand him a subpoena. The farmer opens the subpoena, quite surprised to learn he’s being sued by a major U.S. corporation for copyright infringement. It’s a huge settlement they’re after – in the millions. He doesn’t have one tenth of what they’re asking in damages. Since he sits on a tractor most days, he hasn’t got the faintest notion how he could be named in a suit for copyright infringement. He’s certain they’ve got a case of mistaken identity and places the document at the bottom of a pile of correspondence, making a mental note to consult his lawyer about what to do with the nuisance suit.

Rest assured, it’s no mistake. The large U.S. corporation spent millions in developing a strand of DNA for corn that is resistant to a pesticide they also own. When you buy their corn seeds and use their pesticide for your crops, you’ll get excellent results. They copyright the strand of corn DNA they worked to develop. To protect the investment in DNA research they hire over seventy-five corporate lawyers to aggressively prosecute copyright ‘thieves’. They have to establish a legal precedent that attracts a lot of publicity; they intend to branch out into other food stuffs, such as eggs that last longer on the shelf, wheat that produces heavier grain, chickens that add weight quickly, beef that responds to their brand of steroids in cattle foods. The list is endless, and it’s all going to be done by protecting copyrighted DNA strands.

Bill consults his country lawyer about the suit, explaining that he has stolen nothing in his life from anyone. The lawyer does a bit of researching and discovers he’s opposed on the brief by some of the best legal minds in history, paid for by a Dow Jones multinational. He first explains to the multinational that his client doesn’t know how the patented corn seed got into his fields. Possibly the seed cleaning company that strips seeds off Bill’s corn for next year’s crop has intermingled patented seeds with his. He tries to offer a settlement but this is not what the corporation wants. They want a trial. They wish to establish for the record that they’re prepared to sue if anyone grows their corn without paying them for the seeds.

Bill and the country lawyer lose the case which costs him more than he can pay in damages and legal costs. He appeals. The appeal also loses right up to the Supreme Court since copyright law is sacrosanct in the U.S. Intellectual property, in this case a section of DNA, is property protected by the highest court in the land. Bill’s house, farm and equipment are sold at auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds given to a multinational worth more than a quarter trillion in market cap. The proceeds don’t cover the cost of one of the lawyers for one year, but they’ve earned an important victory – they own food.

Who pays for this accident?

Late June, 2016. A new electric car with one occupant is proceeding along a Florida highway within the speed limit. Up ahead, a tractor trailer crossing the pavement at an intersection blocks the way. The driver, who has the vehicle on ‘auto-pilot’ is reading work-related files and doesn’t see the upcoming collision; he trusts his car will react properly and put on the brakes, as advertized. The software or hardware on the car malfunctions, the result is that the car smashes at full speed into the trailer blocking the road, disintegrating the car and killing its occupant.

Within hours of learning of the crash, the vehicle manufacturer issues a statement: ‘Neither the auto-pilot nor the driver saw the tractor trailer in the blinding sun’, trying to diminish responsibility by including the driver’s inattention to the road. A sharp lawyer advises the family of the deceased to sue, since, by definition, he was not the driver; the car company’s software was driving. The driver of the tractor trailer is found blameless because it was possible to avoid the accident, just as every other vehicle did in this situation.

The impending lawsuit sends shivers down the corporate world’s spine. Will they be forced to halt production of their cars? Offer compensation in the billions as GM or Ford experienced? Will it affect future car sales? Will there be expensive recalls? Their very survival hangs in the balance on the outcome of this legal battle. The car company uses as its indemnity the disclaimer every software user accepts before they can switch on the ‘auto-pilot’. Use at your own risk, they say, just like all software. If a calculator gives you the wrong answer, is the calculator manufacturer to blame if you make a wrong bid on a billion dollar tower construction and lose your shirt because of it? No, it’s the user’s responsibility to check all calculations.

Not so fast, says the family’s lawyer. I present to you as evidence sales material from the car company showing people in these cars on ‘auto-pilot’ busily reading files related to work, texting on their phones, eating sandwiches and coffee, streaming movies. The company has promoted the auto-pilot as reliable, in fact more reliable than humans. The manufacturer, in order to sell the product, has accepted the responsibility for the safety of its passengers, or users, by heavily implying that users can relax while the software guides them safely to their destinations. It’s the car company that killed their client, no one else, by encouraging the car buyers to trust the software to the extent that they don’t have to pay attention to the road ahead. Why else would you buy it?

Insurance companies are prepared to fund the legal challenge to a successful outcome. They want a clear definition of who’s at fault before they begin underwriting any more policies. Driverless car manufacturers are rushing headlong into the intersection of Lawyer and Technology Streets with their eyes closed. Keep watching this space, you’ll never see a bigger smash-up.

Who owns my face?

Brad Pratt is a famous movie star. His wife Angie Groaner is too. They’re fed up to the teeth with being filmed by paparazzi. Brad is filmed in public toilets. Angie is filmed at the doctor’s office. What gets them most upset is they’re captured on film with their kids. They don’t have a moment to themselves, not even after they move from the U.S. to the outskirts of London, England. Every time they walk past a newsstand they look the other way so they don’t have to read headlines about themselves in stories they didn’t sanction. Angie especially deplores the stories depicting her children as alien babies. Paparazzi invade their lives every waking, sometimes not waking, moment.

That’s the price of fame say the news organizations. Bullpoop, says Brad, and I’m going to come up with a way to stop it. Unbeknownst to the so-called ‘news’ media, Brad and Angie consult with the best legal minds and come up with a solution: trademark their faces.

A trademark is the copyright of an image related to the conduct of business, and since Brad and Angie’s faces are their business (worth millions), they’re well within their rights to trademark their mugs. They take a 360° view of their faces and deposit them with all the necessary paperwork at every major trademark registration office throughout the world.

They can’t wait for their first lawsuit to prove the concept. Soon, a tabloid prints the story, ‘Brad and Angie Have Alien Twins’. The photographer and Celebrity Ogler are served with an invitation to attend court in every country in which they publish.

The photog is a nobody with a camera. He’s paid up to a quarter of a million dollars for candid shots depicting Brad on the toilet or Angie in a dress shop changing room. He explains that Celebrity Ogler paid him to take these pictures on a spec basis. The more revealing and damaging the photo, the more they get paid, so anything goes, regardless of the rules of common courtesy or decency.

The publisher, Celebrity Ogler, claims that the two famous people made their millions by being in the public eye, and if it weren’t for news and tabloids, the couple would be living in anonymity. They benefited from free publicity for their rise to stardom and now it’s simply inconvenient to them. They also argue in most countries, it’s their constitutional right to publish news stories related to anyone, regardless of their position in society. What if they were guilty of murder, could we be prevented from displaying their pictures on newspapers?

Pratt and Groaner’s legal team argues that their trademark, central to their business of making films, has been used without their permission and that both the photographer and the publisher have profited using someone else’s copyrighted image. These magazines are not reporting ‘news’; they rely on sales of their tabloids based on the already established popularity of their subjects. Now that they have trademarked their faces, the defendants have profited off someone else’s popularity and their image.

The court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. They’re awarded damages and any further use of their trademarked images can only be done by permission. It will be a very long time before Pratt and Groaner give permission for strangers to take their picture. A new business for trade-marking faces is spawned.

Who owns the Arctic?

In the 1850’s a British expedition to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean goes missing for over a hundred years. Fast forward one hundred and fifty years. Due to global warming the ice pack has melted and it is now possible to sail year round through the Arctic Ocean.

Oil is discovered outside the new economic exclusion zone and Canada protests the invasion of oil drilling wells from the U.S., taking the case to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. Canada claims sovereignty of the Artic to the North Pole. The U.S. says, ‘See you in court. No one can own an international waterway.’

Who owns the Pacific Ocean?

In a mirror image incident in the Pacific Ocean in international waters off China, barges filled with earth drop millions of tons of rocks and slurry to create a small land mass. The Chinese fill enough of the ocean to create a tiny island in the Pacific large enough to plant their flag. They then declare an economic exclusion zone of two hundred miles in all directions and begin drilling for oil.

The American navy sails through the disputed waters. Certain of the rightness of their cause, China begins sending belligerent diplomatic notes of protest to the United States and the United Nations. The U.S. does not recognize their sovereignty in an international waterway by the artificial creation of a land mass. The Chinese are ready to start a war and take pot shots at the U.S. navy in what used to be international waters. Tensions come to a boil before the case can be heard in international courts. The Chinese threaten to begin a war with the U.S. over the issue.

The U.S. responds by entering trade agreements with India and setting up manufacturing facilities for a wide range of consumer items, directly competing with cheap Chinese labor. Twenty years after the shift to India, the U.S. and its allies block all further Chinese imports.

Who owns the sky?

Fred and Harriet are having dinner in their isolated country home. They’re having Fred’s favorite recipe – Mulligatawny soup. An object crashes through the roof and kills the couple outright. Upon investigation, the object belongs to Grooble, a technology firm developing driverless cars. One of their satellites, while repositioning itself to a new orbit, received an incorrect set of coordinates from the controller and crashed back to earth, landing on hapless Fred and Harriet, and the soup tureen. The pieces of wreckage found clearly indicate the ownership of the fallen satellite. Fred and Harriet’s heirs file suit.

The ownership of a piece of land includes the space above and below it, with no defined limit. If you wish to build above the land five hundred stories high there can be no legal objection to it. The plaintiffs argue that their property rights are infringed at any altitude and Grooble was encroaching on the couple’s right to ownership of their property, even though the satellite might have been hovering six thousand miles above them. Since the satellite owners accept the premise that the hardware might malfunction for any number of reasons and come crashing back to earth, they knowingly encroached on property they do not own.

The Grooble Corporation argues that international agreements have determined space (defined as 62.5 miles altitude) to be outside the purview of local property laws. The heirs of the property owners claim that once the satellite re-entered the atmosphere, it was no longer subject to the laws that govern space and are therefore seeking damages afforded them by local property rights, the same as they would if an airplane dropped on their house.

Looking back we find it hard to believe some of the cases that were heard to defend people’s rights and property. The Scopes trial of the Twenties comes to mind, which defended an educator’s right to discuss evolution. A divisive question for its time, a mere ninety years later, it’s almost irrelevant, replaced by the new issues that arise with the advent of technological discovery. The conflicts these new challenges create will burn brightly in their time, setting one against the other in tumult and violent upheaval until, just like all issues, the unveiling of new eras and new civilizations will make them pass into irrelevance. But is mankind now changing too quickly to adapt to new situations? For instance, will we pollute and kill all marine life in the oceans before we can develop legal frameworks to stop it? Will a country poison the atmosphere for the rest of the world? Will nations figure out a solution to global warming before it’s too late? Will DNA continue to be copyrighted preventing food from being grown by private citizens in times of starvation? Will space be cluttered with so much debris as to make it unusable? Legal disputes of the future are extremely difficult to predict but their outcomes greatly impact our societies.

Ed Schofield is a writer from Nova Scotia, Canada. His e-books can be found at

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Growth and Development of International Law

International law in an area that has been of great importance in recent times as it regulates the relations of States, IGO’s, NGO’s and individual persons in their dealings with one another. International law as it is seen in modern times has gone through several developmental states to achieve its present status. There have been several modifications in the scope and subjects of international law as time passes by.

This article divides the growth and development of international law into four main phases. The first phase starts with the peace agreements that was made in Europe after the thirty years war, followed by the second phase with begins after the first Word War and then the third phase which begins after the Second World War and finally the last phase which refers to the aftermath of the Second World War till date. The last part of the article looks at the future of international law and it does this by situating the future of international law in the question as to whether international law is dying or not.

Key Words
International relations
United Nations


The interaction among countries is regulated by international laws and customs and it is for this reason that international law serves a great purpose as far as the international interaction among states is concerned. No country can leave in isolation without depending on other countries for raw materials, national resources, and technological know-how among others and hence there is the inevitable need for countries to depend on one another for survival. This interaction and to a large extent trade relations among member countries, therefore, needs to be guided by some laws which will help to ensure that such interactions are on a peaceful basis with without chaos or possible violence in the international system and hence its essence in contemporary times. Laws that governs relations among states, IGO’s, NGO’s and individual has developed from one stage to the other with significant improvements and changes in their scope and applicability.

Definition of international law
International law was first developed to govern the relations among sovereign countries and as such it was referred to as The Law of Nations. That is to say that a set of rules and regulations meant to regulate the relations among sovereign and civilized states with their dealings and activities among themselves.
This is a narrow definition and viewed by scholars as the traditional definition of international law. Obviously, there are a lot of grey hairs in this definition of international law as it is difficult to determine which state is civilized and which state is not and more importantly, the scope and subjects of international law have in modern times widened to govern the relations of not only sovereign states but that of Non-Governmental Organizations, International Governmental Organizations, and even individual persons as well.

With the proliferation of Non-Governmental organizations (NGO’s) most probably after the WWII as well as the business transactions, agreements and contract among persons, the scope, and definition of international law have widened to cover, NGO’s and even persons as well. In modern times it is defined as a body of rules and principles that govern the relations among States, International Governmental Organizations (IGO’s), NGO’s as well as individual persons in the relations among each other (Egede & Sutch, 2013). This definition of international law is mostly referred to as the modern definition as it expands the scope and focus of international law.

Growth and development of international law
The expansion and development of international law can be divided into four main phases:

The first Phase
The first and perhaps most important phase in the development and expansion of international law began with the Peace of Westphalia which was a peace treaty signed to end the thirty years war that was fought in Europe from 1618-1648. The main participants in that treaty were France and Sweden on one side with their opponents Spain and the Holy Roman Empire on the other side. By the terms of the treaty, each state was to be recognized as sovereign and independent of the Holy Roman Empire making the Holy Roman emperor virtually powerless which subsequently led to the collapse of the Roman Empire.

This event is very important as far the development of international law is concerned as it is seen as the beginning of the concept of sovereignty and independence of states in international law. The treaty conferred sovereignty of all participating states which should be given full recognition by the other members and this concept has remained and perhaps been modified until present times. The Sovereignty and independence of states is a very important concept in contemporary international relations as it entitles each state to be responsible for their internal affairs which should not be infringed upon by other states. By, implication, therefore, it meant that member States are to acknowledge the territorial boundaries of others and not interfere in the affairs of other members in any way.

Also since the thirty years war, which was fought in Europe at that time was both a religious and political war, it was, therefore, important to acknowledge the religious and political freedom of individual as it became obvious that, if individuals are oppressed religiously or politically they will always revolt. The peace treaty which ended the thirty years war thus made provision for such concepts as freedom of association and religion which have also been an important concept in recent international humanitarian laws. Thus, concepts such as freedom of association and religion which form the basic backbone of most humanitarian laws could all the traced back to this peace treaty.

However, the problem that was unsolved by the peace agreement was that the peace agreements reached failed to establish an institution that is expected to be responsible for ensuring that these agreements reached among nation were to be followed without any breach so eventually most of the agreements reached was breached which subsequently lead to Word War 1 and subsequently leading to the second developmental phase.

Second phase
Eventually, the peace agreements hat were reached was not able to maintain the everlasting peace in Europe as expected and as such between 1914 to 1918, there was World War 1. In 1919, the treaty of Versailles was reached between Germany and its allies on one side and Great Britain and it’s allied on the other side to bring an end to the World War one. At the treaty of Versailles, a proposal was made to create an independent organization to ensure that the agreements made in the treaty are held up in high esteem by all members and this subsequently lead to the creation of the League of Nations in 1920. An important point to note here is that with the creation of the League of Nations, international laws and standards were agreed by member countries as to how the League of Nations should function which is a shift from international law governing the relations among states alone as it seen in the traditional notion to governing the function and relation of an International Organization which in this case is the League of Nations.

Under this treaty, Germany was made to give full recognition and unconditional sovereignty to Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia (currently referred to as the Czech Republic and Slovakia), and Austria. The functions, scope, and operations of the League of Nations was governed by rules and regulations agreed upon by member states. The league of Nation could not maintain world peace as expected with could be attributed to several reasons of which the refusal of a powerful country like the United State of America to join could not be ruled out. The refusal of USA to join the League, in fact, rendered the League powerless leading to its collapse and subsequently resulting to World War II fought from 1939-1945.

Third phase
With the failure of the League of Nations to maintain world peace and subsequently leading to World War II, which was partly due to the fact the Germany was not satisfied with most of the provisions of the treaty of Versailles as Germany was of the view that the treaty was not fair to them and that all effort were intentionally made by that treaty to render Germany powerless and weak (Boemeke, & Feldman, 1998). The Paris peace treaty was therefore signed on the 10th of October in 1949 to bring an end to the Second World War which had led to the destruction of thousands of life, property and materials all over the World. The United Nation was afterward created as an International Governmental Organization to maintain world peace and ensure peaceful coexistence among member countries.

An important point to note is that in this phase as well the scope of international laws has moved from governing the relations between Sovereign states to regulating the conduct and behavior of an International Governmental Organization. It is also important to note that from this phase, with the collapse or failure of the League of Nations, it become important to find out why the League could not perform as expected and several factors were discovered as the reasons for the Leagues failure however, it became obvious that the refusal to get on board powerful countries like the United States was an obvious factor which had a great blow on the powers and function of the League and subsequently leading to its failure.

Also, it was realized that taking decisions quickly on matters of great concern in the League was difficult due to the fact that all members had equal votes in the League and because of different interest by different states it was difficult to reach consensus on an issue that needed immediate actions. It was for these reasons that with its creation, efforts were made to get all powerful countries on board and also the permanent five members of the Security council was created so that these permanent five members could take quick decisions on matters of immediate concerns that needed immediate actions.

Again there was the need to ensure some sought of fairness in dealing with all members in the making of treaties or laws to govern the activities of member states as it was realized that Germany discontentment of the Versailles treaty was also key factor that prompted Germany to revolt as all efforts to seek for reforms in the Versailles treaty was not successful which eventually led to the Second World War. In this regard, during the process of treaty making, conscious efforts are made to ensure that all countries have their national interest featured in one way or the other so that no State will feel been cheated or will have the feeling that their interest has been sabotaged in any way. All these developments have helped shaped and expand its scope in present times.

The fourth stage
The last developmental stage is the period after World War two until the present day. After WWII, the world witnessed a drastic increase in the number of NGOs springing up on a daily basis both locally and internationally. The activities and operations of these NGO’s especially the international ones are also to a large extent are governed by International law. These NGO’s operate within the larger framework of international and ensures that their activities do not infringe on any international law for that matter. NGO’s possesses legal personality and as such they have the right to sue and sued at an international court which therefore implies that if their activities in any way breach any international law, they are liable for their offense and will be held accountable in that regard.

Furthermore, after WWII, the world also witnessed business transactions not between states alone but also between individuals of different nations and as such there was also the need to come out with international laws that will govern such relations between people as well. It is in this regard that a branch of international law called private international law came into being. Thus the need to get standard rules and regulations to govern the relations of individuals from different countries as they trade among themselves on the international level led to the emergence and development of private international law. Different states have their own laws that regulate trade activities and business in the domestic level and this has the possibility of resulting to misunderstandings between business partners as to which state laws should be applied in situations of disputes and hence the essence of private international law.

The point to note here, therefore, is that the scope and function of international law in the fourth stage which refers to the aftermath of the WWII till present day has widened. International law not only regulates the behavior, relations, and affairs of sovereign states, IGO’s, NGOs but it also regulates the relations between private persons as well. Day in and day out, there is always an improvement in both private and public international law so as to help maintain the relations of all the subject of international law in a peaceful and cordial manner.

The future of international law
The future of international law can be analyzed from two different perspectives and in order to be able to give a detailed account of these perspectives, we will ask the question “Is international law dying? The first perspective on the future of international law is the school of thought that believes that international law is dying and the reasons that this school advances to support their arguments are:

Firstly, this school of thought argues that the current world order is in flux: The United State of America, for example, is been at war continuous since the beginning of the twenty-first century and in most cases the reasons advanced by the United State of America to support such war is the belief that such wars are in their national interest or when the USA feel that their National interest is threatened or is at stake if such wars are not carried out. A typical instance, in this case, is the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 even when the USA was not granted the rectification to go-ahead to embark on that war. There is probably little chance that the state of continuous war will end anytime soon and that the world has to kind of adjust to the notion that there is always the possibility of the occurrence of war. The consequence of the possibility of the occurrence of such constant war between states in international law is that Military solutions in setting dispute will be given much priority than diplomatic means of settling a dispute which is not what international law advocates for.

Also, the European powers that were one of the strongest world’s nations have now come together to form the European Union to maintain some influence on the state of the world by way of increasing economic integration and strengthening corporation among member states and to a large extent protect the interest of Europe. One cannot predict the ideas of what Russia wants or what it intends to become in the near future. Tracing the relation between Russia and the USA back to the Cold War era where there was a great tension between these two countries and Russia eventually collapse leaving the USA to be the Worlds super power. Some years later, however, there was a much more peaceful corporation between the USA and Russia who was more or less like allies but in recent times, that corporation is no more but rather a kind of antagonistic relation between the two countries. The future intention of Russia in this sense is unpredictable. Is it going to be Russia and Europe or Russia has the intentions of rising up again against the United State in the future?

A country like the Peoples Republic of China which in recent times has emerged as a strong economic power in the world also might have its intentions as far as becoming the world’s superpower is concerned. Would china be rising up to contest the USA in becoming the World’s super power? What do countries like The People’s Republic of China, India and Russia want to become or achieve in the near future especially with regards to the current state of USA as the world’s superpower is not certain. The Middle East is in a constant state of turmoil which is not likely to end in anytime soon.

A critical observation of all these events and occurrence happing in the world proves that the system of the world that international law sought to create after world war two is not what is been seen in modern terms and as such this school of thought argues that international law is dying because the systems that it is based on are gradually fading away.

Secondly, international law is primarily based on western ideas. It was based on Western principles and ideas. Sources of international law have primarily been western in nature. For example, when we talk about customary international law, we are actually referring to customs that happened in the West and not what happened in Asia, Africa or other parts of the world. Again when we talk about general principles, we are talking about the general principles of the West and not that of any other countries outside the West. So basically international law was based on Western legal traditions however in the current world of one hundred and ninety-two (192) countries, the relevance and influence of Western ideas and beliefs on which international law is built on is to a large extent of no influence anymore and as such international law is dying because the basis of its foundation is dying.

Also, the Sate which previously used to be an important institution as far as international law is concerned is primarily fading off. That is to say that the state used to be the main actor in international laws but increasingly becoming less important as its role as gradually fading off. For example, the attack on the USA on 11th September 2001 was carried by a non-state entity, a group called Al-Qaida to be specific. Al-Qaida operates across state borders and as such one cannot empathically point to one state has been responsible for harboring such groups. After the incident on 11th September 2001 for instance, the foreign policy of USA changed from placing emphasis on State oriented policies to a more individual or groups oriented policies to the extent that a huge sum of money was placed on the head of Usama bin Laden to be given to any person or individual who could provide intelligence on the whereabouts of Usama bin Laden. Bin Laden was in fact placed on the ten most wanted fugitive list of the United States.

The above-stated points and others perhaps are the reasons been advanced by some scholars that international law is dying.The second school of thought argues that international law is not dying but rather is becoming much stronger than it even used to be.

Firstly, this school of thought argues that European countries, for instance, has over the centuries been at constant war with one another but in recent times, a great harmony exists between European countries to the extent that the Europeans countries have come together to form a Union governed by International laws. Despite the fact that the European countries are facing some problems with single currency: Euro, countries are willing to even give part of their sovereignty away so as to be part of the European Union. The point here is that this corporation between several countries in Europe will probably have not been possible some centuries back. Before the introduction and acceptance of international law in Europe, the continent was in turmoil to which one could hardly think of getting a possible solution to it but now the region has experienced constant peace and corporation over the years.

Also, a powerful country like the United State of America which is the world’s superpower and with a strong military and army which they could use to wage war on any country is not probably able to do so because it is constrained by some international customs and conventions. An instance is when the United States went to the Security Council to seek a resolution so as to enable it to go to war in Iraq in 2003 which to a large extent the USA in previous time will not have done. The argument here is that before the introduction of such laws and conventions, the United States as powerful as, will wage war on a country without going to any IGO to seek a resolution before it could that.

Although the USA was refused that resolution, it still went ahead to invade Iraq in 2003, whenever scholars accuse the USA of breaching international norms and conventions, the USA almost always comes out to defend their stands of not breaching any laws but their actions were informed by the threat on their National interest and probably their intelligence was wrong. Thus, international customs restricts countries in their behavior or relations with other countries in modern times which were not the case some years back. Additionally this school of thought argues that at the initial stages of the introduction and development of international laws, strong countries like USA and Russia during the cold war era will either openly or secretly support a rebel group to overthrow a democratically elected government in order to get such countries to practice their ideologies, however, in recent times, such countries cannot act in this manner anymore as it will be seen as a breach of international accepted standards of state behavior and the whole World will frown on such acts.

Furthermore, the economic corporation in recent times is higher than ever. International rules and regulations that govern and regulates trade among countries are much stronger than it is used to be. For example, a treaty called the Convention on Contract for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) signed in 1980 which is the treaty that governs that worldwide sale of goods and has created a legal infrastructure that supports the global economy (Lookofsky, & Bernstein, 2002). Thus, commerce has increased in a much more peaceful and corporative manner with the presence of international laws. Free trade is seen by many as the best and most effective way of trade and in recent times, one can argue that with institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) among others, there is an increase in free trade than before.

Additionally, international law is flexible and its flexibility, therefore, implies that it can adapt to cover the changing circumstances and occurrences in the world. That is to say that if there are certain events or some specific new developments in the interaction among states and other subjects of international law that are not covered by international conventions and agreements but it has become necessary to have rules and regulations to cater for those areas, then its scope of will expand to cover those areas. Treaties could be reached between countries to cater for certain aspects that previous treaties could not cover. For example International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) were first introduced in 1936 by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to govern the responsibilities of sellers and buyers in international contracts of sale however due to new developments and changes in trade that occurs as times passes by, INCOTERMS have been revised in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, and 1990, 2000 and currently in the year 2010.

Finally, the argument that the state is dying or fading away is also a fraud because the state is not dying and cannot fade away. The institution of the Nation or the State is the principal means of governance around the world and there is no indication that the State is going to end anytime soon. The states continue to be the major player in the international system and its role is still important as far as international law is concerned.

In conclusion, therefore, one can argue that international law is of great importance as far as interaction on the international level is concerned as it governs and regulates the behavior of sovereign states, inter-Governmental Organizations, NGO’s and individual persons in the process of dealing with one another. Its development has gone through a number of stages as it is currently seen in modern times and to a large extent, international law is becoming much stronger than it used to be at its initial stage of introduction. This is evident in numerous instances as all States, IGO’s, NGO’s and persons give recognition to the existence of such international law and conventions which they try not to breach.

Boemeke, M. F., & Feldman, G. D. (1998). The Treaty of Versailles: a reassessment after 75 years. Cambridge University Press.
Egede, E., & Sutch, P. (2013). The politics of international law and international justice. Edinburgh University Press.
Lookofsky, J., & Bernstein, H. (2002). Understanding the CISG in Europe 2nd. Kluwer Law International.

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The Origins of Modern Day Bankruptcy Law

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides:

“The Congress shall have Power To… establish… uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States… ”

This authority granted under the United States Constitution enabled the Congress of the United States to establish Bankruptcy Courts and establish uniform Bankruptcy Laws.

The origin of United States Bankruptcy laws dates back to sixteenth century English Law. Famously, Debtor’s prison was the norm at that time. In fact, in 1705, the English Parliament drafted a Bill making the bankrupt’s refusal to cooperate a capital offense.

Society utilized a system of coercion to incentivize borrowers to repay their debts. But coercing debtors to be honest and cooperate with divergent creditor interests proved a failure, instead incentivizing fraud amongst debtors seeking avoidance of harsh penalty.

Attitudes eventually changed overtime upon practical realization punishment and imprisonment of debtors was of little benefit to creditors, and upon understanding better results would occur for both Debtor and Creditor in protecting Debtor’s assets and income streams to maximize payoff of creditors’ claims.

Thus, beginning in the eighteenth century, bankruptcy laws began evolving, recognizing the social benefit in protecting debtors and their assets, permitting debt discharge as a reward for debtor cooperation assisting towards reducing claims of creditors. Modern day bankruptcy was born.

The United States Constitution granted Congress power to establish uniform federal bankruptcy laws in 1789 and the first Bankruptcy Act adopted by congress was enacted in 1800. Initially, the emphasis was creditor relief over debtor protection. Debtor voluntary bankruptcy filings were not permitted. The early statutory schematic was an offspring of the early bankruptcy laws of England, where harsh penalties and punishment of debtors who sought to avoid financial responsibilities was the primary premise behind this legislation.

But the a philosophical debate began over whether bankruptcy laws should be designed to protect the debtor or the creditor, eventually enabling modern society to recognize the symbiotic relationship between debtor and creditor and the need to protect debtors to maximize payout for creditors. The passage of the Bankruptcy Act of 1841 offered debtors greater protections and permitted voluntary filings for relief; and the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 established bankruptcy courts and provided for bankruptcy trustees providing an even playing field for debtors to protect their assets and income from ad hoc creditor collection action, enabling preservation and enhancement of the debtors estate assets so creditors could receive a higher repayment.

Public sentiment also began evolving towards debtors. Beginning in the eighteenth century changing attitudes inspired development of the concept of debt discharge where Courts nullified debts as a reward for debtor cooperation in trying to reduce them. The public viewpoint also realized most circumstances befell upon debtors were beyond the debtor’s control – unexpected dramatic market movements, illnesses, crop failures, etc. Public sentiment began viewing the debtor’s plight with greater sympathy, as well as recognizing imprisonment and punishment was useless to the unsatisfied creditor. Thus, it was recognized encouraging resolution of monetary obligations through a forum of bankruptcy protection worked towards the greater good of society.

Societal benefit is also achieved enabling debtors overburdened with debt to achieve a fresh start. The Bankruptcy Code enables Debtors to retain basic economic needs protecting homesteads, tools of the trade, and other basic essentials, while at the same time permitting discharge of indebtedness.

Permitted a fresh economic start, debtors can re-enter the workforce with a strong economic footing strengthened through lifting of burdensome debt caused by past economic failure.

The author of this article is an expert in all bankruptcy matters. Mr. Stern practices law in Rochester, New York where he is a senior partner at law firm of Elliott Stern Calabrese, LLP. For further insights on bankruptcy issues feel free to visit Mr. Stern’s Bankruptcy Website located at

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