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UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2021: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC PDF Download

Q1: Discuss the various efforts made towards the codification of International Law during the 20th century. 

The 20th century witnessed significant efforts towards the codification of international law, aiming to systematize and organize the evolving principles and rules governing interactions between states. This period marked a shift from customary and treaty-based law to a more structured and formalized approach. Various international organizations and initiatives played a pivotal role in this endeavor, striving to achieve a more coherent and universally accepted framework of international law.

Efforts towards Codification:

  1. League of Nations (1920-1945):

    • Basis: Established after World War I, the League of Nations aimed to promote peace and security through international cooperation.
    • Efforts: The League's Covenant and its various committees laid the foundation for international law codification, addressing issues such as arms control, territorial disputes, and diplomatic relations.
    • Example: The Permanent Court of International Justice, established by the League of Nations, functioned as a precursor to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), contributing to the codification of international law through advisory opinions and contentious cases.
  2. International Court of Justice (ICJ):

    • Basis: Established in 1945 under the United Nations Charter, the ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
    • Efforts: The ICJ plays a vital role in the codification of international law through its judicial decisions and advisory opinions, contributing to the development of customary international law and the interpretation of treaties.
    • Example: The ICJ's advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004) clarified international law on issues related to occupied territories and the rights of peoples.
  3. United Nations (1945-Present):

    • Basis: Established to promote international peace, security, and cooperation among member states.
    • Efforts: The UN has been a key platform for codifying international law through treaties, conventions, and resolutions covering a wide range of topics, including human rights, environmental protection, and disarmament.
    • Example: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and subsequent human rights conventions exemplify UN's efforts to codify fundamental human rights norms and standards.
  4. International Law Commission (ILC):

    • Basis: Established in 1947 by the UN General Assembly, the ILC is tasked with promoting the progressive development and codification of international law.
    • Efforts: The ILC prepares drafts of conventions on various subjects of international law, contributing to the codification process.
    • Example: The ILC's work on the Law of Treaties (1969) led to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), a crucial codification of treaty law.


The 20th century saw a transformation in the approach towards international law, evolving from customary practices to formalized and codified rules. Institutions like the League of Nations, International Court of Justice, United Nations, and International Law Commission played pivotal roles in shaping this transformation. The efforts made during this period laid the groundwork for a more organized and comprehensive framework of international law, contributing to a more peaceful and just global order. As the world continues to evolve, the codification of international law remains an ongoing and essential endeavor to address contemporary challenges and promote a harmonious international community.

Q2: Explain different theories on the relationship between International law and Municipal law.
The relationship between international law (IL) and municipal law (ML) is a complex and critical aspect of legal theory and practice. Different theories attempt to explain the interplay between these legal systems, addressing their coexistence and potential conflicts. Understanding these theories is essential for comprehending how states navigate their international and domestic legal obligations.

Theories on the Relationship:

  1. Monism:

    • Basis: Monism posits that international law and municipal law are part of a single, unified legal system.
    • Explanation: An international norm is directly applicable in the domestic legal system without the need for transformation. If there's a conflict between the two, the norm that prevails is determined by the hierarchy of norms.
    • Example: In Costa v. ENEL (1964), the European Court of Justice held that European Community law takes precedence over inconsistent national laws, illustrating the monist approach within the European legal framework.
  2. Dualism:

    • Basis: Dualism posits that international law and municipal law are distinct legal systems, each with its own set of rules and principles.
    • Explanation: For international law to be applicable domestically, it requires incorporation into municipal law through the adoption of national legislation or constitutional provisions.
    • Example: In the United Kingdom, the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty dictates that international treaties do not automatically become part of domestic law and require enabling legislation.
  3. Transformation Theory:

    • Basis: Transformation theory bridges the gap between monism and dualism.
    • Explanation: International law needs to be transformed or translated into domestic law through municipal legal mechanisms, such as legislation or administrative acts, for it to be enforceable domestically.
    • Example: The U.S. federal government transforms international treaties into domestic law through a process involving the President's signature, Senate approval, and incorporation into federal statutes.
  4. Harmonization Theory:

    • Basis: Harmonization theory seeks to harmonize international and domestic laws by aligning their principles and objectives.
    • Explanation: International and municipal laws are viewed as complementary and should be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids conflict and advances common goals.
    • Example: The European Union often employs harmonization by setting common standards across member states in various legal domains, facilitating a unified approach.


The theories regarding the relationship between international law and municipal law offer diverse perspectives on how these legal systems interact. Monism emphasizes integration, dualism underscores their distinctiveness, transformation seeks a middle ground, and harmonization advocates for a cooperative and aligned approach. Each theory carries implications for legal practice, state behavior, and international relations. Balancing these theories is crucial for achieving a harmonious and effective legal framework that promotes both international cooperation and the autonomy of states.

Q3: Explain the principle of 'Double Criminality and the 'Rule of Speciality under the international law of extradition.
International extradition is a legal process through which one country surrenders an individual to another country for prosecution or punishment. The principles of 'Double Criminality' and the 'Rule of Speciality' are fundamental in guiding the extradition process, ensuring fairness, and protecting the rights of individuals involved.

Principle of Double Criminality:

  1. Basis:
    • Double criminality refers to the principle that the act for which extradition is sought must be recognized as a crime in both the requesting and requested countries.
  2. Explanation:
    • Extradition can only be granted if the alleged offense is considered criminal in both the requesting and requested countries, regardless of variations in the legal definitions or labels of the crime.
  3. Example:
    • If a person is accused of fraud and the legal system of the requested country does not classify the specific act as fraud, extradition may be denied due to lack of double criminality.

Rule of Speciality:

  1. Basis:
    • The rule of speciality is a principle that ensures the extradited individual is prosecuted or punished only for the offenses specified in the extradition request.
  2. Explanation:
    • The requesting country is bound by the principle of speciality and cannot prosecute the individual for offenses other than those for which extradition was granted, unless the requested country consents.
  3. Example:
    • If an individual is extradited for drug trafficking, the requesting country cannot prosecute the individual for unrelated offenses like robbery without the requested country's approval.

Case Studies:

  1. R v Bow Street Magistrates' Court, ex parte Pinochet (No 3) (2000):

    • In this landmark case, the UK House of Lords ruled on the extradition of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet. The principle of double criminality was crucial in determining the admissibility of the extradition request, emphasizing the necessity of recognizing the alleged crimes in both jurisdictions.
  2. United States v. Rauscher (1886):

    • This case between the U.S. and the UK established the rule of speciality. Rauscher was extradited for murder but was later tried for a different offense. The Supreme Court held that he could only be prosecuted for the murder charge for which extradition was granted.


The principles of 'Double Criminality' and the 'Rule of Speciality' serve as cornerstones in international extradition law, ensuring that the process is fair, just, and consistent with the rights of the individuals involved. These principles promote legal cooperation between nations and uphold the integrity of international legal frameworks.

Q4: Define 'Double Nationality and 'Statelessness'. Evaluate the efforts taken to eliminate or reduce them.

Double nationality and statelessness are legal statuses that pertain to an individual's citizenship or lack thereof. Double nationality refers to an individual being a citizen of two countries simultaneously, while statelessness denotes an absence of citizenship from any country. Addressing these issues is essential for ensuring the rights and protection of individuals in the international community.

Double Nationality:

  1. Definition:

    • Double nationality, also known as dual nationality, occurs when an individual is a legal citizen of two countries at the same time.
  2. Causes:

    • Birth in a country where nationality is based on place of birth (jus soli) while parents are citizens of another country (jus sanguinis).
    • Marriage to a foreign national leading to acquisition of spouse's nationality.
    • Nationality granted through naturalization in another country without renouncing original nationality.
  3. Efforts to Reduce Double Nationality:

    • International Agreements:
      • Bilateral agreements between countries to regulate dual citizenship and prevent conflicts related to nationality.
    • Renunciation Requirement:
      • Some countries require individuals to renounce their nationality upon acquiring another.
    • Clear Legal Frameworks:
      • Establishing clear laws and procedures regarding dual nationality to avoid confusion and conflicts.
    • Public Awareness Campaigns:
      • Raising awareness about the implications and responsibilities of holding dual nationality.


  1. Definition:

    • Statelessness refers to the condition where an individual is not considered a national by any country.
  2. Causes:

    • Discrimination and changes in nationality laws.
    • Border changes and geopolitical conflicts.
    • Lack of birth registration or documentation.
    • Legal gaps in nationality laws.
  3. Efforts to Reduce Statelessness:

    • UN Conventions:
      • The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness establish the legal framework to prevent and reduce statelessness.
    • Reforming Nationality Laws:
      • Countries reform nationality laws to prevent statelessness, ensuring that children born within their territory acquire nationality.
    • Birth Registration:
      • Promoting birth registration to ensure that individuals have proof of nationality and are not rendered stateless due to lack of documentation.
    • Legal Aid and Advocacy:
      • Providing legal assistance and advocacy to stateless individuals to help them acquire nationality and address their legal status.


Double nationality and statelessness are crucial issues in the realm of citizenship and human rights. International agreements, legal reforms, public awareness campaigns, and birth registration initiatives are essential tools in addressing and reducing these challenges. Efforts to prevent statelessness and manage dual nationality contribute to a more inclusive and just international community, upholding the rights and dignity of all individuals.

Q5: What is 'Intervention and on what grounds do the States justify intervention ? Explain.

Intervention in international relations refers to the interference by one state in the affairs of another state, involving actions that may range from diplomatic measures to military involvement. States often invoke various grounds to justify intervention, asserting their interests, security, or the protection of human rights. Understanding these justifications is essential in comprehending the dynamics and implications of state interventions in global affairs.

Intervention and Grounds for Justification:

  1. Humanitarian Grounds:

    • Basis: States may intervene to protect individuals from severe human rights abuses or humanitarian crises.
    • Explanation: The responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine enables intervention in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, or crimes against humanity.
    • Example: The NATO intervention in Kosovo (1999) aimed to halt ethnic cleansing and protect the Albanian population.
  2. Self-Defense:

    • Basis: States intervene to defend themselves against an armed attack or imminent threat.
    • Explanation: The UN Charter (Article 51) acknowledges the inherent right of states to individual or collective self-defense.
    • Example: The United States invoked self-defense after the 9/11 attacks, resulting in military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  3. Collective Security:

    • Basis: States act collectively to maintain or restore international peace and security.
    • Explanation: The UN Security Council can authorize military action to address threats to international peace under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
    • Example: The Gulf War (1990-1991) was a collective security response by the international community to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
  4. Preventive Intervention:

    • Basis: States may intervene to prevent potential threats or conflicts before they escalate.
    • Explanation: It involves taking action to avoid future conflicts or threats to security.
    • Example: Israel's preventive strike on Egypt in the Six-Day War (1967) was aimed at countering what Israel perceived as an imminent threat.
  5. Intervention to Protect National Interests:

    • Basis: States may intervene to safeguard their national interests, including economic, political, or strategic concerns.
    • Explanation: Protecting citizens abroad, securing trade routes, or preserving political influence are common motivations for such interventions.
    • Example: The United States' intervention in Panama (1989) to protect American citizens and ensure stability in the region.


Intervention in international relations is a complex and contentious issue. States often justify intervention based on grounds such as humanitarian concerns, self-defense, collective security, preventive measures, or protection of national interests. Striking a balance between respecting state sovereignty and fulfilling global responsibilities remains a challenge. It is crucial to carefully assess and scrutinize the justifications for intervention to maintain a stable and lawful international order that respects the rights and sovereignty of all states.

Q6: Distinguish whether 'Recognition of States' is an act of policy or of law. Also distinguish between Constitutive and Declaratory theories on the recognition of States.

The recognition of states is a critical aspect of international relations, signifying acceptance of a state's status and its right to participate in the international community. Understanding whether it is an act of policy or law and distinguishing between the constitutive and declaratory theories of recognition is essential in comprehending the dynamics of state recognition.

Recognition of States: Act of Policy or Law:

  1. Recognition as an Act of Policy:

    • Basis:
      • Recognition as an act of policy suggests that states decide to recognize or not based on their national interests and policy considerations.
    • Explanation:
      • States may extend or withhold recognition strategically, considering geopolitical, economic, or political factors.
    • Example:
      • The United States' recognition of Israel in 1948 was influenced by its strategic interests in the Middle East.
  2. Recognition as an Act of Law:

    • Basis:
      • Recognition as an act of law asserts that recognition follows objective legal criteria and obligations.
    • Explanation:
      • States may recognize a new state when it fulfills established legal prerequisites, such as having a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states.
    • Example:
      • The recognition of South Sudan as an independent state in 2011 was based on fulfilling the legal criteria set forth by international law.

Constitutive and Declaratory Theories on the Recognition of States:

  1. Constitutive Theory:

    • Basis:
      • Constitutive theory holds that recognition by other states is a constitutive element in the statehood of a new entity.
    • Explanation:
      • According to this theory, a state does not fully exist until it is recognized by other sovereign states.
    • Example:
      • The recognition of Kosovo as an independent state by numerous countries (e.g., United States, United Kingdom) validated its statehood, supporting the constitutive theory.
  2. Declaratory Theory:

    • Basis:
      • Declaratory theory posits that recognition is a mere acknowledgment of an existing statehood and not a constitutive element.
    • Explanation:
      • States already possess statehood by meeting the criteria of international law, and recognition simply acknowledges this fact.
    • Example:
      • The United Nations General Assembly declared the statehood of Bangladesh in 1971, acknowledging its existence as a sovereign state, reflecting the declaratory theory.


The recognition of states, whether seen as an act of policy or law, involves the acknowledgment of a state's status in the international arena. The constitutive and declaratory theories offer different perspectives on the nature of recognition, influencing how states engage with emerging entities seeking statehood. Understanding these theories is crucial for analyzing the complex dynamics of international relations and state-building processes.

Q7: What do you understand by 'State Succession'? Discuss various theories of State succession and explain the rights and obligations arising out of State succession.

State succession refers to the process where a new state replaces another in the international arena, resulting in a shift of rights and obligations. This transition may arise from various situations such as the disintegration of a state, decolonization, or territorial changes. Understanding state succession involves analyzing the theories, rights, and obligations associated with this transition.

State Succession: Theories:

  1. Universal Theory:

    • Basis:
      • The universal theory holds that a new state succeeds to all the rights and obligations of the predecessor state.
    • Explanation:
      • The new state inherits the predecessor's treaty obligations, debts, assets, and rights.
    • Example:
      • Russia, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, inherited the USSR's treaty obligations and assets.
  2. Continuator Theory:

    • Basis:
      • The continuator theory asserts that the new state assumes only those rights and obligations it expressly accepts or confirms.
    • Explanation:
      • The new state must explicitly affirm its intention to continue treaty obligations and rights of the predecessor state.
    • Example:
      • Bangladesh, after gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971, chose to accede to international treaties it found relevant.
  3. Clean Slate Theory:

    • Basis:
      • The clean slate theory posits that the new state assumes no rights or obligations of the predecessor state.
    • Explanation:
      • The new state is seen as an entirely new entity with no continuity in the rights and obligations of the predecessor state.
    • Example:
      • South Sudan, upon gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, adopted the clean slate approach, renegotiating its international relationships.

Rights and Obligations Arising from State Succession:

  1. Rights:
    • Inheritance of Assets:
      • The new state inherits the predecessor's assets, properties, and resources.
    • Treaty Rights:
      • The new state may choose to inherit and be bound by international treaties the predecessor was party to.
    • Continuation of Diplomatic Relations:
      • The new state usually continues diplomatic relations and embassies of the predecessor state.
  2. Obligations:
    • Treaty Obligations:
      • The new state may choose to continue treaty obligations or negotiate modifications or termination of existing treaties.
    • Debts and Liabilities:
      • The new state may be held responsible for a share of the predecessor state's debts and liabilities.
    • International Responsibilities:
      • The new state assumes responsibility for the international obligations and commitments of the predecessor state.


State succession is a complex process involving the transition of rights and obligations from a predecessor state to a new one. The theories of state succession—universal, continuator, and clean slate—provide different perspectives on how these rights and obligations are transferred. The recognition and management of these rights and obligations are crucial to ensure a smooth transition and continued participation in the international community for the successor state.

Q8: Explain the main features of Law of the Sea. What is the difference between the jurisdiction over 'Territorial Sea' and 'Exclusive Economic Zone'?

The Law of the Sea is a framework of international law that governs the use and management of the world's oceans and seas. It encompasses various zones, each with specific rights and regulations. This response outlines the main features of the Law of the Sea and delves into the differences between the jurisdiction over the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone.

Main Features of the Law of the Sea:

  1. Territorial Sea:

    • Extent: Extends 12 nautical miles (nm) from a state's baseline (coastline).
    • Sovereignty: Coastal state exercises full sovereignty over the territorial sea, subject to innocent passage by foreign vessels.
    • Customary Right: Traditional concept, recognized under customary international law.
    • Example: The United States claims a 12-nm territorial sea around its coastlines.
  2. Contiguous Zone:

    • Extent: Extends from the outer edge of the territorial sea up to 24 nm from the baseline.
    • Powers: Coastal state can exercise limited control to prevent or punish infringements of customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws within this zone.
    • Customary Right: Developed to combat smuggling and other illegal activities.
    • Example: India has a contiguous zone where it can enforce its customs laws.
  3. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):

    • Extent: Extends 200 nm from the baseline.
    • Rights: Coastal state has sovereign rights over the exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of natural resources in the water column and the seabed and subsoil.
    • Customary Right: Established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982.
    • Example: Norway has an extensive EEZ in the North Atlantic for fishing and oil exploration.
  4. Continental Shelf:

    • Extent: Extends beyond the territorial sea and the EEZ, up to 350 nm or the outer edge of the continental margin.
    • Rights: Coastal state has sovereign rights over the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf.
    • Customary Right: Defined by UNCLOS.
    • Example: Brazil has extensive continental shelf rights in the South Atlantic for oil and gas exploration.


The Law of the Sea provides a comprehensive framework for the governance of oceans and seas. Key components such as the territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf outline the extent of a state's jurisdiction and rights over the surrounding waters. Understanding the differences between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is crucial for respecting state sovereignty and effectively managing oceanic resources in the international community.

Q9: Discuss the powers of the Security Council for the maintenance of world peace and security. Has the Veto Power' proved a hindrance in discharge of its duties by the Security Council ? Explain.

The United Nations Security Council is entrusted with the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Its powers and operations are structured to address threats and conflicts globally. However, the presence of the veto power within the Security Council has been a topic of debate, as it can sometimes hinder the effective discharge of its duties.

Powers of the Security Council for Peace and Security:

  1. Peacekeeping Operations:

    • The Security Council can authorize the deployment of peacekeeping missions to conflict zones to stabilize situations, enforce ceasefires, and facilitate political processes.
  2. Sanctions:

    • The Council has the authority to impose sanctions (such as trade restrictions, travel bans, and arms embargoes) to address threats to peace and security.
  3. Authorization of Military Action:

    • The Security Council can authorize military intervention in cases of aggression, threats to peace, or breaches of peace, allowing for collective security action.
  4. Conflict Prevention:

    • It engages in conflict prevention through early-warning mechanisms, diplomatic efforts, and engagement with parties involved to prevent escalation.
  5. Dispute Settlement:

    • The Council mediates and settles disputes between states through negotiations, conciliation, or other peaceful means.
  6. Establishment of Tribunals:

    • The Security Council can establish international criminal tribunals to prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Veto Power and Its Impact:

  1. Exercising the Veto:

    • Permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK, USA) possess veto power, enabling them to block any substantive resolution, even if the majority of the Council supports it.
  2. Impact on Decision-Making:

    • The veto power can lead to the paralysis of the Security Council, preventing timely and effective responses to conflicts and crises.
  3. Selective Application:

    • The use of the veto is often perceived as selective and biased, reflecting the national interests of the permanent members.
  4. Case of Syria:

    • The Syrian conflict exemplifies the use of veto power. Russia and China have repeatedly used their veto to block resolutions aimed at imposing sanctions or referring the situation to the International Criminal Court.


The United Nations Security Council plays a crucial role in maintaining world peace and security through various powers and functions. However, the veto power, while designed to protect the interests of the permanent members, can impede the Council's efficiency and effectiveness in responding to global crises. Striking a balance between the right of veto and the collective responsibility for international peace remains a significant challenge, highlighting the need for ongoing reforms to enhance the Council's capabilities and responsiveness.

Q10: Discuss the United Nations Declaration on the establishment of a New International Economic Order along with the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States.

The United Nations Declaration on the New International Economic Order (NIEO) and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States are significant international initiatives that aimed to restructure global economic relations and promote a fairer and more equitable international economic system. This response will outline the key aspects of the NIEO and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States.

United Nations Declaration on the New International Economic Order (NIEO):

  1. Objective:

    • The NIEO aimed to address the disparities in global economic relations and create a more just and balanced international economic order.
  2. Key Principles:

    • Sovereignty over Natural Resources:
      • Recognizing the sovereign rights of states over their natural resources and the need for fair compensation for resource exploitation.
    • Economic Cooperation:
      • Encouraging international economic cooperation and the establishment of a just and equitable economic system.
    • Equitable Terms of Trade:
      • Advocating for equitable terms of trade and removing discriminatory practices affecting developing nations in international trade.
    • Technology Transfer:
      • Facilitating the transfer of technology to developing nations to enhance their industrial and economic capabilities.
  3. Outcomes and Implementation:

    • The NIEO did not fully materialize due to opposition from developed nations, but it did significantly impact subsequent international economic discussions, policies, and agreements.

Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States:

  1. Objective:

    • The Charter aimed to establish a set of rights and duties for states in the economic domain, promoting economic justice and cooperation.
  2. Key Provisions:

    • Right to Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources:
      • Affirms the right of states to exercise permanent sovereignty over their natural resources, in the interest of their national development and the well-being of their people.
    • Right to Economic Development:
      • Emphasizes the right of states to pursue economic development, and the corresponding duty to ensure that this development benefits all sections of society.
    • Right to Regulation:
      • Affirms the right of states to regulate their economic activities, including foreign investment, in the interest of their economic and social development.
    • Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination:
      • States have a duty to promote equality and non-discrimination in international economic relations, striving for equitable benefits for all.
  3. Implementation and Impact:

    • The Charter has influenced subsequent international economic agreements and practices, particularly in affirming the rights of states over their natural resources and economic development.


The United Nations Declaration on the New International Economic Order and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States were critical initiatives in attempting to address economic imbalances and foster a more equitable global economic order. Although the NIEO did not fully materialize, its principles have continued to influence international economic discussions and policies. Similarly, the Charter has played a crucial role in establishing fundamental economic rights and duties of states, impacting subsequent international economic agreements. These initiatives underscore the importance of pursuing a more just and equitable economic system on a global scale.

Q11: "Humanity is in peril in the present world due to terrorism." Suggest the ways to protect it in the context of human rights.

The global threat of terrorism poses a significant danger to humanity, disrupting lives, economies, and societies. Addressing this threat while upholding human rights is a delicate balance that requires a comprehensive approach. Protecting humanity from terrorism necessitates effective measures that respect and uphold fundamental human rights.

Ways to Protect Humanity in the Context of Human Rights:

  1. Promoting Rule of Law:

    • Explanation: Upholding the rule of law ensures that counter-terrorism measures are conducted within a legal framework, respecting human rights and preventing abuse.
    • Example: The European Convention on Human Rights emphasizes the rule of law in countering terrorism.
  2. Respecting Due Process:

    • Explanation: Ensuring fair treatment and due process for all individuals, including those suspected of terrorism, is essential to prevent arbitrary detention and torture.
    • Example: The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings, like Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, underline the need for due process in handling detainees.
  3. Strengthening International Cooperation:

    • Explanation: Encouraging nations to collaborate and share intelligence helps in effectively combating terrorism while respecting human rights globally.
    • Example: Interpol's efforts in facilitating international cooperation against terrorism while adhering to human rights principles.
  4. Community Engagement and Education:

    • Explanation: Raising awareness, educating communities, and involving them in countering radicalization can help prevent terrorism while upholding human rights.
    • Example: The "Preventing Violent Extremism" (PVE) initiatives in various countries focus on community engagement and education.
  5. Protecting Freedom of Expression:

    • Explanation: Safeguarding freedom of speech and expression is crucial to counter terrorism without suppressing dissent or free thought.
    • Example: Striking a balance between national security and freedom of expression, as seen in various legal cases globally.
  6. Fostering Social Inclusion and Equality:

    • Explanation: Addressing social inequalities and promoting inclusion can reduce grievances that fuel terrorism, fostering a more harmonious society.
    • Example: The "Prevent" strategy in the UK focuses on promoting inclusivity and addressing root causes of radicalization.
  7. Enhancing Cybersecurity:

    • Explanation: Protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks is essential to prevent terrorist organizations from leveraging technology for harmful activities.
    • Example: Global efforts to enhance cybersecurity and counter cyber terrorism.


Combating terrorism while upholding human rights is a fundamental challenge. Utilizing a balanced approach that integrates legal frameworks, international cooperation, community engagement, protection of fundamental freedoms, and addressing social inequalities is vital. By safeguarding human rights in the fight against terrorism, we ensure that the very values we aim to protect remain intact, ultimately leading to a safer and more just world.

Q12: Is it a legal duty of States under international law to settle their disputes by peaceful means ? Can failure of peaceful means entitle States to use force to settle their disputes ? Discuss.  

International law strongly emphasizes the settlement of disputes between states through peaceful means, promoting a more stable and secure global order. The Charter of the United Nations enshrines this principle, defining the legality and limited circumstances under which force can be used. This response explores the legal duty of states to settle disputes peacefully and the exceptional circumstances that may allow for the use of force.

Legal Duty to Settle Disputes by Peaceful Means:

  1. International Law and Treaties:

    • States are bound by various international treaties and agreements, such as the UN Charter, which explicitly mandate the peaceful resolution of disputes.
  2. UN Charter (Article 2(3) and 2(4)):

    • Article 2(3) of the UN Charter obliges states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.
    • Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
  3. International Court of Justice (ICJ):

    • The ICJ serves as a principal judicial organ of the UN and promotes the peaceful resolution of disputes through its adjudicatory functions.
  4. Arbitration and Mediation:

    • States are encouraged to engage in arbitration or mediation to resolve disputes under the auspices of international organizations or bilateral/multilateral agreements.

Exception of Use of Force to Settle Disputes:

  1. Self-Defense (UN Charter, Article 51):

    • States can use force in self-defense against an armed attack until the Security Council takes measures to maintain international peace and security.
    • Example: The United States invoked Article 51 in response to the 9/11 attacks, leading to military interventions in Afghanistan.
  2. UN Security Council Authorization (UN Charter, Chapter VII):

    • The Security Council can authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
    • Example: The Gulf War (1990-1991) was authorized by the Security Council to restore international peace following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
  3. Humanitarian Intervention:

    • Some argue that force can be used for humanitarian purposes to protect populations from gross human rights abuses when the international community agrees on the necessity of intervention.
    • Example: NATO intervention in Kosovo (1999) aimed to halt ethnic cleansing and protect the Albanian population.


International law clearly establishes the legal duty of states to settle their disputes by peaceful means. The UN Charter, along with various international agreements and organizations, reinforces this principle. The use of force is strictly limited and subject to specific conditions, such as self-defense and Security Council authorization, ensuring a balance between maintaining peace and security and upholding the rule of law in the international arena.

Q13: Is the threat or the use of 'Nuclear Weapons in any circumstances permitted under International law ? Answer the question in the light of the advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The threat or use of nuclear weapons is a highly contentious issue in international law due to the catastrophic potential they possess. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has provided an advisory opinion shedding light on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons under international law. This response explores the ICJ's advisory opinion and its implications.

ICJ Advisory Opinion on Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons:

  1. Legality of Use:

    • The ICJ, in its 1996 advisory opinion, stated that the use of nuclear weapons is generally contrary to the principles and rules of international humanitarian law.
    • The Court emphasized the need to adhere to the principles of distinction, proportionality, and unnecessary suffering, and highlighted that the use of nuclear weapons would likely violate these principles.
  2. Legality of Threat:

    • The ICJ opinion mentioned that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, particularly humanitarian law.
    • The threat to use nuclear weapons should be compatible with the principles of necessity and proportionality.
  3. Customary International Law:

    • The ICJ recognized that there is a customary international law obligation to pursue in good faith negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.
    • It highlighted that this obligation applies to all states and is independent of the existence of nuclear weapons.

Implications and Challenges:

  1. Deterrence Doctrine:

    • The ICJ opinion challenges the deterrence doctrine, which is the primary rationale behind nuclear arsenals of some nations.
    • Some nations argue that possessing nuclear weapons acts as a deterrent and helps maintain peace and security.
  2. Arms Control and Disarmament:

    • The ICJ's opinion reinforces the importance of arms control and disarmament efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.
    • International initiatives such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) exemplify efforts towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.
  3. Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT):

    • The NPT seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon technology while promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
    • It has been a cornerstone of nuclear disarmament efforts, encouraging the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.


The ICJ's advisory opinion is a significant milestone in international law, underscoring the incompatibility of the threat or use of nuclear weapons with international humanitarian law. While the opinion doesn't categorically prohibit nuclear weapons, it emphasizes the need for disarmament and arms control. Efforts towards nuclear disarmament continue to evolve, and international agreements like the TPNW highlight the global commitment to the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. Adherence to these principles is crucial for a world striving for peace, security, and ultimately, a nuclear-weapon-free future.

Q14: Discuss the role of United Nations in protection and improvement of human environment.

The United Nations (UN) plays a critical role in addressing global environmental challenges and promoting sustainable development. Over the years, the UN has been actively engaged in initiatives to protect and improve the human environment, fostering cooperation among nations for a healthier and more sustainable world.

UN's Role in Protection and Improvement of Human Environment:

  1. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

    • Formation and Mandate:
      • Established in 1972, UNEP is the UN's principal agency for environmental issues, providing leadership and encouraging partnerships in caring for the environment.
    • Examples:
      • UNEP's work on promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns through initiatives like the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production.
  2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

    • Integration of Environmental Goals:
      • The SDGs, adopted in 2015, emphasize environmental sustainability as a fundamental aspect of development, promoting specific goals related to clean water, climate action, life on land and below water, and more.
    • Examples:
      • SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  3. Climate Change Initiatives:

    • Paris Agreement:
      • Facilitated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement is a landmark global effort to combat climate change by limiting global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • Example:
      • The annual Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings under the UNFCCC, bringing nations together to discuss and advance climate action.
  4. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):

    • Biodiversity Conservation:
      • CBD aims to conserve biodiversity, ensure the sustainable use of its components, and share benefits from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
    • Example:
      • Aichi Biodiversity Targets set by CBD, outlining strategic actions to be taken by the international community to safeguard biodiversity.

Role of Other UN Bodies:

  1. World Health Organization (WHO):

    • WHO addresses environmental health issues, promoting global health by safeguarding the environment, tackling air pollution, providing safe water, and more.
  2. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):

    • FAO works on sustainable agriculture and food security, promoting environmentally friendly farming practices and conservation of natural resources.


The United Nations, through various specialized agencies and initiatives, actively addresses environmental concerns and strives to improve the human environment globally. By fostering collaboration, setting global goals, and advocating for sustainable practices, the UN plays a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for all, while safeguarding the environment for future generations.

The document UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2021: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Law Optional Notes for UPSC.
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FAQs on UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2021: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) - Law Optional Notes for UPSC

1. What is the syllabus for the Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam?
Ans. The syllabus for Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam includes topics such as Constitutional and Administrative Law, Public International Law, Law of Crimes, Law of Torts, Law of Contracts, Law of Evidence, Legal Theory, and Legal Language and Legal Writing.
2. How many sections are there in the Law Paper 1 of UPSC Mains exam?
Ans. There are two sections in the Law Paper 1 of UPSC Mains exam. Section A is compulsory and Section B contains questions from various optional subjects including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, International Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, etc.
3. What is the weightage of Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam?
Ans. The Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam carries a weightage of 250 marks. It is one of the optional papers in the Mains stage of the UPSC Civil Services examination.
4. Can I choose Law as an optional subject in the UPSC Mains exam without a legal background?
Ans. Yes, you can choose Law as an optional subject in the UPSC Mains exam even without a legal background. However, it is advisable to have a basic understanding of legal concepts and principles to effectively prepare for this subject.
5. Are there any recommended books or study materials for Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam?
Ans. Yes, there are several recommended books and study materials for Law Paper 1 in the UPSC Mains exam. Some popular choices include "Constitutional Law of India" by Dr. J.N. Pandey, "Administrative Law" by I.P. Massey, "Public International Law" by V.K. Ahuja, and "Law of Crimes" by Ratanlal and Dhirajlal. It is important to refer to standard textbooks and study materials to cover the syllabus comprehensively.
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