Legal Studies Essay- the Role of the Nation State in Achieving World Order.

A) Explain the role of nation states in achieving World Order.

World Order is a necessity in modern day society, for if it did not exist we would be faced with international anarchy. A nation state acts individually, therefore meaning that it can either choose to embrace Human Rights and international laws, or ignore them.

World Order is known as being the creation of global relationships and maintenance of world peace. It also governs the relationships between nation states and other global participants.

World Order exists so that world conflict and global destruction doesn’t. Not only this, but World Order works through relations between countries, meaning that no nation state will stand alone, hence global issues such as global warming can be addressed more easily. It also serves as the backbone of economic interdependence as well as globalization.

In the early modern era, several monarchs, by weakening the feudal nobles and allying themselves with the emerging commercial classes, began to consolidate power. Kings and queens tried to bring all of the people they ruled over and all the territories they ruled over into one, unified body (beforehand, even villages would not have anything to do with each other). This however, was a difficult process and sometimes required violence, as well as taking a long time. This birth of a nation-state also lead to the first signs of nationalism, due to monarchs encouraging their subjects to feel loyalty towards the newly established nations.

Nation states (being the country) have sovereignty, which means that they have the right to make all the laws within the territories they govern, but also allows them to make treaties with other states and these treaties are the primary source of international law. State sovereignty is the states exclusive right to make laws for its own people without interference from outside countries. It is defined by having : defined borders (geographical area), a permanent population and the ability to form a government and engage in international relations.

When a nation state decides to embrace international law, there is a process which occurs. A government sends delegates to represent them at conferences and/or meetings of international organizations. Only when a nation state agrees to the conditions and agrees to abide by the terms set out in the treaty are they eligible to sign it.

By becoming a signatory it is then necessary to implement those conditions into legislation and law to be adhered to within that signatories land. In order to ratify these laws it must then go through the parliamentary process so that it can become an enforceable law. An advantage of nation states is that from the UN, the two covenants of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 1966, allow for countries that are democratic to be accounted for, but also for countries such as China that are not democratic to be covered as well.

For example in Australia, our sovereignty is used to enhance World Order. It is done so through becoming a signatory of the covenant, and then ratifying this covenant in order to turn it into domestic law. Australia also supports the International Criminal Court (ICC), and participates in UN Peacekeeping, which further enhances World Order through promoting global peace.

The Australian Federal Government (AFP) uses its powers to support the UN by using its political power to sign off on treaties, and supports World Peace internally by enforcing laws. It is the governments of nation states that decide to sign and to implement them into their domestic law, therefore becoming applicable in their status.

However, nation states can use their sovereignty as a means of shielding them from unwanted input from international laws in regards to that countries conduct. When decided to use the current system of international law by the United Nations architects, based on treaties that were made between sovereign states, it gave states significant legal power through them being able to choose to cooperate with the international community if they have some interest in the matter.

On the other hand, they can choose to reject the matters that they believe conflict against their national interest, as outlined in the principle of state sovereignty, enshrined in Article 2.7 of the U.N. Charter, which states ‘nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state…..’ explaining that the United Nations cannot interfere with matters that are in the domestic jurisdiction of a country.

An example of a nation state that is impeding the UN and international laws through its sovereignty is Syria. Syria is in an on-going armed conflict regarding those who are in the Syrian Ba’aath Party government and those who wish to force them out, starting in 2011. Syria did not promote human rights, was not dictatorial, is autocratic and this lead to creating a civil war. The leader currently, has served for fifteen years, and his father before that, 30.

Both are tyrants. Although the United Nations are able to intervene, the permanent five (France, Britain, United States of America, The United Kingdom and Russia) vetoed against entering due to Russia having an interest economically in Syria. This is in the forms of weaponry, and Syria’s rich amounts of Oil.

In conclusion, a nation state can either achieve World Order or impede it through the choices they make and how they use their state sovereignty. Australia is an example of how sovereignty is used to contribute positively to global peace, and Syria displays the opposite and how not choosing to ratify treaties and international laws. State sovereignty plays an enormous part in achieving World Order as it is the deciding factor in whether they take part in the global community, or choose to ignore a charter/treaty etc. that is designed to better human life.