International law is the set of rules, agreements and treaties that are binding between countries. When sovereign states enter into agreements that are binding and enforceable, it’s called international law. Countries come together to make binding rules that they believe benefit their citizens. International laws promote peace, justice, common interests and trade.

International laws apply to governments. It’s up to each state government to implement and follow international laws. A country’s laws apply to citizens and other people that are present in the country. However, it’s up to the country’s governing authority to apply international law and keep their agreements with the other countries that are involved.

What does international law involve?
International law might address and regulate any of the following issues:

Human rights
Treatment of refugees
Prosecution for international crimes
Arms agreements and controls
How states can claim new territories
Regulating common spaces like water and outer space
Trade between states
Preventing war
When it’s okay for a state to use force
Fair treatment of prisoners
Preserving the environment