Author: Swapna Sudha Sahoo, SOA National Institute of Law, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


For a long time immemorial international relations are regarded as a kind of playing field for states where the common human beings are subordinated to each state through social contract. IR are needed to understand the relations between states whether it may be conflictual or cooperative. After second world war the human rights have increased, also theses theories have provided some helpful incentives to study human rights. The role of human rights in international law is common just to achieve justice. It might seem quite difficult as nobody knows how justice is to achieved, what it is, if it is good enough to pursue etc. International Human Rights Law is basically state- centred. This is a problem in cross border such as transboundary environmental harm, and transnational surveillance, which is amended to human rights claims.


The English school looks upon human rights in major three aspects:

  • Evaluating to the extent to which human rights comprise common values, and interest among states,
  • Whether states are bound by human rights or not,
  • The relationship between state sovereignty and human rights in the content of conflict between order and justice.

Human rights are treated basically as ideas so it acts as a mechanism through which such ideas are institutionalized. According to English school, international relations is defined as a group of states aware of certain common interests and values which form a society and are bound by common rules in relation to one another. It includes elements of anarchy, moral imperatives, rules and institutions.      When the state is in anarchy the only way of cooperation between them is through social rules which bind such common values and interests. States cooperation is based on mutual cooperation and sovereignty. The main purpose of such cooperation is maintaining independence and peace within them.

Order also plays an important role in maintaining peace within society. There is mutual agreement between states that their cooperation, mutual dependency will persist and no hard feelings or anarchy or any kind of cold war shall take place. But it is not an individual duty that needs to be performed it is the collective duty of the states which needs to be carried on.


International law is an integral part of the society which consists of an institution providing rules for states cooperation. There must be coherently sharing of values between the states. International law is based on maintaining order and peace as it has been observed in the UN Charter Article 2(4) restricting the use of force and Article 2(7) supporting non intervention policy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established in 1948 yet it is not legally binding. Two Covenants were signed in 1966 to create enforceable treaties with more specific rights. Several other issues also sprang up like torture, children’s rights and women’s rights. These relations are quite important for providing peace and order in the international society.


Role of humanitarian intervention was quite needed to reduce the sufferings of people and promote more and more armed forces for their own benefit. Pluralists and solidarists presented contrasting views whether humanitarian intervention was needed for the member states. Pluralists objective theory are for two reasons: selectivity and subjectivity of Justice. When proper human rights are not available then in that case the only was is to allow proper objectives and interests for the member states. Although both pluralists and solidarists also recognized certain possibilities of intervention whether it should be based on state’s agreement or human rights, the state sovereignty and national interest are regarded to be the most important factor of it.


Role of international relations can be summarized into three main primary functions: human rights as interest in the society, binding force on states as common set of rules, and achieving justice. It has been regarded that human values are the important part of human intervention. State sovereignty and non intervention are basic principles of inter- state relations. State sovereignty and human rights are regarded to maintain order and justice,




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: