international law


Definition of international law

: a body of rules that control or affect the rights of nations in their relations with each other

Examples of international law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled, 5-3, that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated US and international law., "This day in history," 29 June 2019 Get our daily newsletter Since then international law has changed. The Economist, "Are amnesties in Latin America always a bad idea?," 29 June 2019 Under international law, the sergeant had some legal protection during his official international travel. Washington Post, "Brazil airman can face drug charges in Spain and at home," 28 June 2019 Seeking asylum is a right guaranteed by international law. Dallas News, "El Paso bishop condemns U.S., Mexico immigration policy as he escorts family across bridge," 27 June 2019 These efforts are driven by recognition that international law can affect domestic courts and legislation, here and abroad. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, "The Man Behind the State Department’s New “Natural Law” Focus," 14 June 2019 During the first phase of the American invasion in Afghanistan, an international law enforcement operation in 2001 and 2002, American forces destroyed a substantial portion of Al Qaeda’s infrastructure in Afghanistan. Rony Brauman, Harper's magazine, "Salable Virtues," 10 Apr. 2019 These sorts of interceptions over neutral waters are very common and entirely within international law. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Russian Jet Fighter Intercept a U.S. Air Force Spy Plane," 7 Mar. 2019 Meng’s detention, together with Washington’s actions vis-à-vis other international incidents and events including the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, reflects the US’ disrespect for both reason and international law. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Huawei’s CFO is granted bail by Canadian court but will be closely monitored," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'international law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of international law

1789, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for international law

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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The first known use of international law was in 1789

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More Definitions for international law

international law


Legal Definition of international law

: a body of laws, rules, or legal principles that are based on custom, treaties, or legislation and that control or affect the rights and duties of nations in relation to each other — compare internal law

More from Merriam-Webster on international law Encyclopedia article about international law

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