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PIL Arguments (4th Speaker)

1. Enforceability is not a determining factor when we talk about whether international law is a
true law or not. The rules are obeyed not out of fear of the state’s power, but because the rules by
and large are perceived to be right, just, or appropriate. (D’Amato, 2010)

Enforcement is only incidental with the law. The law may exist even without any enforcing
body. There will come a time where a society has laws without the need for any enforcing body.

2. When it comes to sanctions, the usual punishment that comes to mind is imprisonment.
Another form of punishment that can be considered is the payment of damages or
indemnification. However, when it comes to international law, social disapproval is similar to the
local sanctions that we have for those who violate the law.

Physical force is not an intrinsic element in law. When it comes to the definition of a law, the
word enforcement does not necessarily mean “physical enforcement.” It was already stated
earlier that when it comes to sanctions in international law, punishment comes in the form of
social disapproval.

3. From the phrase “rules of conduct,” it can be presumed that the law is a guideline to how one
party interacts with another party. In the international law aspect, the law is a guideline to how a
sovereign state must interact with another sovereign state.

In the social contract of Rousseau, the people partly surrender their sovereignty to a government
who formulates rules of how the people should interact with each other and the government.
When we apply this in the international aspect, the states surrender part of their sovereignty to an
international government such as the United Nations in order to avoid anarchy or to attain peace.

4. A law may be enforced in various ways. Every sovereign state is entitled to interact with
another state. In order to enforce international law, some entitlements like business transactions
or treaties that involve the use of certain sea passages may be deprived from a state that violates
the international law. Going back to the topic of sanctions, each state is dependent upon another
of some natural resources that are not present in their territory. As a form of sanction, a violator
of international can be deprived of those entitlements. This then would serve as a deterrent to
other states from violating international law.