A treaty, also called international covenant is an agreement between sovereign states or international organizations under international law. Treaties are comparable to contract between willing parties with obligations for a particular objective. Non-compliance from any player in the treaty attracts liabilities under international law (Peel et al.). Treaties can be bilateral or multilateral. Bilateral treaties exist between two independent parties while multilateral treaties involve multiple parties for a common objective. Signing a treaty indicates the principle intention of a country to abide by the convention. Ratifying the treaty allows the treaty to get into effect. Treaties also include reservations and declarations. A party may opt to reserve a particular clause of the treaty except where explicitly prohibited. Declarations spell out a party’s position but do not eliminate the lawful consequence of a treaty.
International law and international politics are two distinct but entangled disciplines. Both disciplines have shared similarities and distinct features. International law and transnational politics are interested in matters of global concern. Both fields seek to identify global spectacle and establish how it influences domestic affairs and how domestic influence global phenomenon (Singh). International relations explore the structure and institutions governing global cooperation. Normative international politics explain the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of member states to other each other and establishes the principles guiding international interactions. These aspects are important in international law because they explain the boundaries for international interaction.
The distinction between international law and international politics emerge in the interest in the similar phenomenon. International agreements can focus on the same phenomenon but for completely different reasons (Singh). The more the divergent the reason for interest on a phenomenon, the clearer the distinction between the two disciplines. International law primary focus regulating the international interaction while international politics is the nature of the relationships that emerge between international partners.
Peel, Jacqueline et al. Principles of International Environmental Law. 4th ed., Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 55-60.
Singh, Vishalakshi. “International Law and International Relations”. Slideshare.Net, 2013, https://www.slideshare.net/satyavrat1994/international-law-and-international-relations. Accessed 7 Sept 2018.