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 So far, the prime minister has refused, but his officials believe Parliament will force his hand when members of the House of Lords -- the U.K.’s unelected upper chamber -- remove the clauses that would breach international law. Tim Ross,, "U.K. Ready to Rewrite Lawbreaking Brexit Bill to Get EU Deal," 18 Oct. 2020 Judge Barrett was equally clear on the use of customary international law in U.S. cases. Jonathan Turley, WSJ, "Amy Coney Barrett Opens Up," 15 Oct. 2020 Former Migration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas pressed for details from the current minister, Notis Mitarachi, in parliament Sept. 21, saying this appeared to violate Greek and international law. Mehmet Guzel, Star Tribune, "Migrants accuse Greece of pushing them back out to sea," 25 Sep. 2020 In any way that violates any applicable federal, state, local or international law or regulation (including, without limitation, any laws regarding the export of data or software to and from the US or other countries). Tim Fitzpatrick, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Terms of Service," 23 Sep. 2020 Human Rights Watch says his arrest violates international law, even if he was duped into voluntarily boarding the flight from Dubai. New York Times, "How the Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Fell Into a Vengeful Strongman’s Trap," 18 Sep. 2020 But intentionally breaking international law makes other governments less likely to engage with the United Kingdom. Charles Riley, CNN, "Britain is risking a car-crash Brexit of food shortages, another recession and isolation," 12 Sep. 2020 There is no precedent for Britain breaching international law in this way. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 Sep. 2020 Khan argues that, in addition to a first pass at international law, global leaders must also create a rule-making body that can adjust regulations as the world changes. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "AI regulators can learn a lesson from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty," 11 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for international law

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The first known use of international law was in 1789

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Statistics for international law

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“International law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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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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