UPSC Exam  >  UPSC Notes  >  Law Optional Notes for UPSC  >  UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B)

UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC PDF Download

It is generally viewed that “Rights and Duties are correlative”. However, the International Human Rights Movement has developed, more as rights-oriented than duties oriented. Why has this happened? Explain with the help of various International Human Rights instruments. Can you think of a „Human Duty Movement‟ instead of a „Human Rights Movement‟? 

Introduction: The concept of "rights and duties" being correlative implies that with every right, there is a corresponding duty. However, the international human rights movement has primarily focused on rights rather than duties. This phenomenon can be explained by various factors, including historical context and the nature of international human rights instruments. This response will delve into the reasons behind this emphasis on rights and explore the feasibility of a "Human Duty Movement."

Emphasis on Human Rights in International Law: Reasons

  1. Historical Development: The modern international human rights movement emerged in the aftermath of World War II, with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. This historical context, marked by the atrocities of the war and the Holocaust, prioritized the need to protect individual rights and dignity.

  2. Legal Framework: International human rights instruments, such as the UDHR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), primarily articulate rights rather than duties. These instruments establish obligations for states to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights.

  3. Enforceability: Rights are often considered more enforceable than duties. Individuals and organizations can advocate for rights violations and seek redress through international mechanisms like the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) or regional human rights courts.

  4. Universal Appeal: Human rights have universal appeal and can transcend cultural and political differences. Emphasizing rights provides a common framework for addressing human dignity, irrespective of local customs or practices.

Feasibility of a Human Duty Movement:

While the international human rights movement has predominantly focused on rights, there is room for a complementary "Human Duty Movement" that emphasizes individual and collective responsibilities. Here are some considerations:

  1. Complementarity: A Human Duty Movement could complement the existing human rights framework. It could highlight the importance of individuals and states fulfilling their responsibilities in ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights.

  2. Education and Advocacy: Similar to human rights, a Human Duty Movement could involve educational campaigns and advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the duties individuals and states owe to each other and to the global community.

  3. Examples: Some international agreements already incorporate duty-oriented language. For instance, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) outlines duties of states to address climate change and its impacts.

  4. Case Studies: Case studies could illustrate the impact of duty fulfillment. For example, the responsibility of states to provide education (a duty) directly affects the realization of the right to education (a right) for individuals.


The international human rights movement has primarily focused on rights due to historical and legal factors. However, there is potential for a Human Duty Movement to complement this approach by emphasizing individual and collective responsibilities. Such a movement could promote a holistic view of human dignity, emphasizing that rights and duties are indeed correlative and interconnected. The coexistence of these two perspectives could contribute to a more balanced and comprehensive approach to addressing global challenges and promoting human well-being.

Define „International Treaty‟ and explain the growing importance of treaties in Modern International Law. Can a multilateral treaty be terminated? If so, on what grounds? Explain.

Introduction: An international treaty is a formal agreement between two or more sovereign states, governed by international law. In modern international law, treaties have gained paramount importance, playing a vital role in regulating state behavior and promoting cooperation on various global issues. This response explores the definition of international treaties, highlights their growing importance, and explains the grounds for terminating multilateral treaties.

Definition of International Treaty: An international treaty, also known as a convention, accord, or agreement, is a legally binding agreement between sovereign states, entered into voluntarily. Treaties may address a wide range of issues, including trade, human rights, environmental protection, and security.

Growing Importance of Treaties in Modern International Law:

  1. Regulatory Framework: Treaties provide a structured legal framework for states to cooperate and interact on various issues. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regulates maritime boundaries, navigation, and resource management.

  2. Promotion of Peace and Security: Treaties can contribute to the prevention of conflicts and the maintenance of international peace and security. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

  3. Protection of Human Rights: International human rights treaties, like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), protect the rights and dignity of individuals worldwide.

  4. Environmental Conservation: Treaties such as the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity address critical environmental challenges, emphasizing the need for global cooperation.

  5. Trade and Commerce: Multilateral trade agreements like the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements facilitate international trade, reduce trade barriers, and promote economic growth.

Termination of Multilateral Treaties:

Multilateral treaties can be terminated under specific circumstances, although the process is generally more complex than terminating bilateral treaties. Grounds for termination may include:

  1. Provisions in the Treaty: The treaty itself may include provisions specifying conditions and procedures for termination. States parties must adhere to these provisions when seeking to withdraw.

  2. Material Breach: If a state materially breaches the treaty's terms, other parties may invoke this breach as a ground for termination. However, termination should be a last resort after efforts to resolve the breach have failed.

  3. Consent of Parties: In some cases, multilateral treaties can be terminated by mutual consent of all the parties involved. This approach is less common but can be used when all parties agree on the termination.

  4. Superseding Treaty: If parties enter into a new treaty that explicitly supersedes or replaces an earlier one, the earlier treaty may become obsolete and effectively terminated.

Example: The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) codifies principles governing the termination of treaties. It outlines circumstances under which a treaty can be terminated and the legal consequences of termination.

Conclusion: International treaties are fundamental to modern international law, facilitating cooperation, resolving disputes, and addressing global challenges. While multilateral treaties can be terminated under specific circumstances, doing so often involves complex legal and diplomatic processes. The continued development and adherence to international treaties are critical for maintaining stability and addressing pressing global issues.

Do you agree with the statement that „the Globalization is a necessary evil”? Critically examine the implications of the reform process undertaken by the IMS and IBBD by way of structural adjustment, programmes and policies on developing countries, with special reference to India. 

Introduction: The statement that "Globalization is a necessary evil" reflects the ambivalence surrounding the effects of globalization, especially on developing countries. This response critically examines the implications of the reform process undertaken by international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, or World Bank) through structural adjustment programs and policies on developing countries, with a focus on India.

Implications of IMF and IBRD Structural Adjustment Programs in Developing Countries, with Reference to India:

  1. Economic Liberalization: Under the influence of IMF and IBRD, many developing countries, including India, embarked on economic liberalization policies in the 1990s. These policies included reducing trade barriers, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and implementing fiscal austerity measures.

  2. Positive Impact: These reforms often led to increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and economic growth in the short term. India's economic liberalization in 1991, for example, helped boost economic growth and improve its position in the global economy.

  3. Negative Consequences: Structural adjustment programs also had adverse effects, particularly in the early stages. They often resulted in income inequality, as the benefits of economic growth were not equally distributed. In India, this led to a growing gap between the rich and the poor.

  4. Impact on Agriculture: Agriculture in developing countries, a significant sector, faced challenges due to globalization. Removal of subsidies and trade liberalization negatively affected small-scale farmers. In India, this contributed to agrarian distress and farmer suicides in some regions.

  5. Social Services: Reductions in public spending, a common requirement of structural adjustment programs, impacted social services. In India, this led to concerns about the quality of healthcare, education, and public infrastructure.

  6. Globalization of Culture: Globalization has also led to the spread of Western culture and consumerism. While this has been embraced by some, it has raised concerns about cultural homogenization and the erosion of traditional values in countries like India.

Example: The protests and controversies surrounding globalization, such as the anti-globalization protests during the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conferences in the late 1990s and early 2000s, illustrate the mixed reactions to globalization's effects.

Conclusion: The impact of globalization, driven in part by IMF and IBRD structural adjustment programs, is complex and multifaceted. While it has led to economic growth and increased integration of developing countries into the global economy, it has also brought about challenges, including income inequality and cultural changes. Whether globalization is seen as a necessary evil or a positive force depends on one's perspective and the specific context of each country. Developing countries, including India, have had to navigate the benefits and drawbacks of globalization as they seek to advance their economic and social development.

“Continental Shelf was regarded as the natural prolongation of the land mass of the coastal state.” Critically examine the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf with the help of relevant case law of the International Court of Justice (ICI). 

Introduction: The concept of the continental shelf as the "natural prolongation of the land mass of the coastal state" is a fundamental principle of maritime law. However, the delimitation of the continental shelf has been a contentious issue among coastal states, often leading to disputes that are addressed through international legal mechanisms, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This response critically examines the delimitation of the continental shelf, drawing insights from relevant ICJ case law.

ICJ Case Law on Continental Shelf Delimitation:

  1. North Sea Continental Shelf Cases (1969): In this landmark case between Germany and the Netherlands, the ICJ established the principle that the delimitation of the continental shelf should be based on equitable principles, taking into account relevant circumstances. The Court emphasized the importance of not using rigid mathematical formulas and instead advocated for a flexible approach.

  2. Tunisia/Libya Continental Shelf Case (1982): This case highlighted the importance of applying equity in the delimitation process. The ICJ considered geographical, geological, and geomorphological factors, as well as equitable principles, in determining the boundary between Tunisia and Libya's continental shelves.

  3. Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine, 2009): In this case, the ICJ considered historical and geographical factors, as well as equitable principles, to delimit the continental shelf between Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea. The Court's decision was guided by the principle of "equidistance-relevant circumstances."

Critical Examination:

  1. Equity vs. Strict Equidistance: The ICJ has consistently emphasized the importance of equitable principles in continental shelf delimitation, considering factors beyond strict equidistance. This approach allows the Court to consider the unique circumstances of each case.

  2. Relevance of Geology and Geomorphology: The ICJ has recognized the significance of geological and geomorphological factors in continental shelf delimitation, as these factors can affect the natural prolongation of the land mass.

  3. Consistency with UNCLOS: The ICJ's approach to continental shelf delimitation aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides a framework for equitable delimitation while considering specific circumstances.

  4. Preserving Coastal State Rights: The ICJ's decisions aim to balance the rights of coastal states to explore and exploit their continental shelf resources with the interests of neighboring states. This approach helps prevent conflicts and promotes peaceful resolution.

Conclusion: The delimitation of the continental shelf is a complex issue that requires a nuanced approach, taking into account equitable principles and relevant circumstances. The ICJ's case law, as exemplified in the cases mentioned, reflects this approach and contributes to the peaceful resolution of disputes among coastal states. By considering the unique characteristics of each case, the ICJ strives to maintain a delicate balance between the rights of coastal states and the interests of their neighbors in the exploitation of continental shelf resources.

“Membership of the Security Council is not democratic mainly because of its power. In view of that, the U.N Security Council should be expanded and should given more membership to other countries reflecting the demographic composition of the community of nations.” Explain. 

Introduction: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is a powerful international body responsible for maintaining peace and security. However, its current membership structure is criticized for being undemocratic and unrepresentative. This response explores the argument that the UNSC should be expanded to include more countries, reflecting the demographic composition of the global community, and examines the reasons for this proposal.

Arguments for Expanding UNSC Membership:

  1. Democratic Representation: The UNSC's current composition, with five permanent members (P5) having veto powers, does not reflect the democratic principles of equality and inclusivity. Expanding the membership would provide a more democratic decision-making process within the UN.

  2. Changing Global Demographics: The world's demographic landscape has evolved significantly since the UN's formation in 1945. Emerging economies like India, Brazil, and South Africa, with large populations, are underrepresented or not represented at all in the P5. Expanding membership would account for these demographic shifts.

  3. Enhanced Legitimacy: Expanding the UNSC would enhance its legitimacy and credibility. A more representative council would better reflect the interests and concerns of a wider range of countries, making its decisions more acceptable to the international community.

  4. Conflict Resolution: A larger and more diverse UNSC could potentially offer innovative solutions to global conflicts. Inclusivity could lead to a wider array of perspectives and strategies, improving the chances of peaceful conflict resolution.

  5. Preventing Veto Misuse: The veto power held by the P5 can lead to gridlock and inaction on critical global issues. Expanding the UNSC could reduce the risk of veto misuse and encourage more effective responses to international crises.


  • The G4 group (comprising India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan) has been advocating for UNSC expansion and their inclusion as permanent members.
  • Africa's call for permanent representation on the UNSC resulted in the establishment of the "A3" group (African three) within the council, consisting of non-permanent African members.


  1. Efficiency and Decision-Making: Expanding the UNSC may slow down decision-making and increase the complexity of negotiations, making it less effective in times of crisis.

  2. Resistance from Current P5: The current P5 members may resist any change in their privileged status, and reform proposals have faced opposition from veto-wielding nations.

Conclusion: The demand for expanding the UNSC membership to better reflect the demographic composition of the global community is rooted in the principles of democracy, inclusivity, and legitimacy. While there are challenges and counterarguments to be addressed, reforming the UNSC is essential to ensure that the international body remains effective, representative, and capable of addressing the complex global challenges of the 21st century. Comprehensive reforms that balance efficiency and inclusivity are essential for the continued relevance of the UNSC in today's world.

Describe the mechanisms for structural anomalies of autosomes with diagrams. 
Introduction: Structural anomalies of autosomes refer to changes in the structure or number of chromosomes that are not related to the sex chromosomes. These anomalies can result from various genetic mechanisms and can have significant clinical implications. In this response, we will describe the mechanisms for structural anomalies of autosomes and provide diagrams to illustrate these anomalies.

Mechanisms for Structural Anomalies of Autosomes:

  1. Deletion: Deletion involves the loss of a portion of a chromosome. This can occur due to a break in the chromosome followed by the loss of the broken fragment. The resulting chromosome is shorter and lacks the deleted segment.

    Example: Cri-du-chat syndrome, caused by a deletion in the short arm of chromosome 5, results in intellectual disabilities and distinctive cat-like cries in affected individuals.

  2. Duplication: Duplication involves the presence of an extra copy of a chromosomal segment. It can occur through unequal crossing-over during meiosis or as a result of replication errors.

    Example: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A results from a duplication on chromosome 17, leading to peripheral neuropathy.

  3. Inversion: Inversion occurs when a segment of a chromosome breaks and reattaches in reverse orientation. This rearranges the genetic material within the chromosome.

    Example: Pericentric inversion of chromosome 9 can lead to phenotypically normal individuals, but it may cause issues during meiosis and lead to unbalanced gametes.

  4. Translocation: Translocation involves the exchange of genetic material between non-homologous chromosomes. This can be balanced (no loss or gain of genetic material) or unbalanced (loss or gain of genetic material).

    Example: The Philadelphia chromosome, resulting from a translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22, is associated with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

  5. Ring Chromosome: A ring chromosome forms when both ends of a broken chromosome fuse together, creating a circular structure.

    Example: Ring chromosome 22 can lead to a rare disorder called ring chromosome 22 syndrome, which can cause developmental delays and intellectual disabilities.

Conclusion: Structural anomalies of autosomes can have significant genetic and clinical implications. These anomalies result from various mechanisms, including deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations, and the formation of ring chromosomes. Understanding these mechanisms is crucial for diagnosing genetic disorders and providing appropriate medical care and genetic counseling to affected individuals and their families.

Describe the principles of radiocarbon dating. Mention its limitations. 

Introduction: Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon dating, is a widely used method for determining the age of archaeological, geological, and environmental samples containing organic material. It relies on the principle of radioactive decay of the isotope carbon-14 (^14C) to estimate the age of carbon-containing substances. In this response, we will describe the principles of radiocarbon dating and highlight its limitations.

Principles of Radiocarbon Dating:

  1. Cosmic Ray Interaction: Radiocarbon dating is based on the fact that carbon-14 is continuously formed in the Earth's atmosphere through the interaction of cosmic rays with nitrogen-14 (^14N) atoms. This interaction results in the conversion of a ^14N atom into a ^14C atom.

  2. Carbon Exchange: Once formed, carbon-14 is incorporated into carbon dioxide (CO2), which is then absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. Animals, in turn, obtain carbon-14 by consuming plants or other animals. This process maintains a dynamic equilibrium between carbon-14 in the atmosphere and carbon-14 in living organisms.

  3. Radioactive Decay: When an organism dies, it ceases to exchange carbon with the environment. At this point, the carbon-14 within its tissues begins to undergo radioactive decay. Carbon-14 decays into nitrogen-14 through beta decay with a known half-life of approximately 5,730 years.

  4. Measuring Carbon-14 Levels: The age of a sample can be determined by measuring the remaining carbon-14 in it. This is done using accelerator mass spectrometry or liquid scintillation counting. By comparing the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 (^12C) in the sample to the ratio in the atmosphere, scientists can calculate the sample's age.

Limitations of Radiocarbon Dating:

  1. Limited Age Range: Radiocarbon dating is effective for dating samples up to around 50,000 years old. Beyond this range, the amount of carbon-14 remaining becomes too small to accurately measure.

  2. Carbon Isotope Variability: Variations in the ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere over time can affect the accuracy of radiocarbon dating. This variability is addressed through calibration with tree-ring data and other dating methods.

  3. Contamination: Contamination of a sample with carbon from modern sources can distort the dating results. Careful handling and cleaning of samples are essential to avoid contamination.

  4. Sample Size: Radiocarbon dating requires a sufficient amount of material for analysis. This limitation can be challenging when dealing with small or precious samples.

  5. Marine Reservoir Effect: Carbon from marine sources can have different carbon-14 concentrations than atmospheric carbon, leading to inaccuracies in dating marine organisms and coastal archaeological sites.


  • Radiocarbon dating has been used to date ancient archaeological finds such as the Shroud of Turin and Ötzi the Iceman.
  • Environmental applications include dating ice cores and studying the carbon cycle in ecosystems.

Conclusion: Radiocarbon dating is a powerful tool for estimating the age of organic materials, providing valuable insights into the timeline of human history and environmental changes. While it has its limitations, researchers have developed calibration methods to improve its accuracy and extend its applicability. This technique continues to be an essential tool in various scientific disciplines.

Narrate evolution of disease and major causes of ill health in human populations. 

Introduction: The evolution of diseases and major causes of ill health in human populations is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon influenced by various factors, including biology, environment, and societal changes. This response will outline the key stages in the evolution of diseases and highlight major causes of ill health.

Evolution of Disease and Major Causes of Ill Health:

  1. Prehistoric Era:

    • Infectious diseases were the primary health threats during this period.
    • Zoonotic diseases, transmitted between animals and humans, likely emerged as humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal domestication.
    • Examples include tuberculosis and smallpox.
  2. Ancient Civilizations:

    • Urbanization and trade facilitated the spread of infectious diseases.
    • Improved sanitation and public health measures, such as sewage systems and quarantines, were introduced.
    • Waterborne diseases like cholera were a major concern.
  3. Industrial Revolution:

    • Urbanization intensified during this period, leading to overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions in cities.
    • Respiratory diseases, including tuberculosis and influenza, were widespread.
    • Occupational hazards in factories contributed to illnesses among workers.
  4. 20th Century:

    • Advances in medical science led to the discovery of vaccines and antibiotics, reducing the impact of infectious diseases.
    • Chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes became leading causes of illness and death due to lifestyle factors like diet, smoking, and physical inactivity.
    • Emerging infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, highlighted ongoing health challenges.
  5. 21st Century:

    • Globalization and increased travel facilitated the rapid spread of diseases, as seen with the SARS and COVID-19 pandemics.
    • Antimicrobial resistance threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics.
    • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continue to rise, driven by factors such as obesity and air pollution.

Major Causes of Ill Health Today:

  1. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs):

    • NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death globally.
    • Risk factors include poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Infectious Diseases:

    • While significant progress has been made, infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis remain global health challenges.
    • Emerging infectious diseases pose ongoing threats.
  3. Environmental Factors:

    • Pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction contribute to health issues like respiratory diseases, heat-related illnesses, and vector-borne diseases.
  4. Societal Factors:

    • Socioeconomic disparities and lack of access to healthcare contribute to health inequities.
    • Mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, are a growing concern.

Conclusion: The evolution of diseases and major causes of ill health in human populations reflects a dynamic interplay between biological, environmental, and societal factors. While advances in medicine and public health have led to significant improvements in human health, emerging challenges and health disparities underscore the need for continued efforts in disease prevention, healthcare access, and environmental sustainability. Addressing these complex issues requires a holistic approach that considers the broader social and environmental determinants of health.

“International law is primarily concerned with Rights, Duties and Interests of States.” Critically examine the statement with reference to the place of Individuals and Non-State entitles in International law. 

Introduction: The statement that "International law is primarily concerned with the rights, duties, and interests of states" reflects the traditional view of international law. However, over time, international law has evolved to incorporate the rights and interests of individuals and non-state entities. This response critically examines the statement and the place of individuals and non-state entities in international law.

Rights, Duties, and Interests of States:

  1. Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity: International law has historically emphasized the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. It addresses issues related to statehood, recognition, and the inviolability of borders.

  2. State Responsibility: States have duties and responsibilities under international law, including the obligation to refrain from using force against other states, protect human rights, and fulfill treaty commitments.

  3. State Interests: International agreements, such as treaties and trade agreements, serve the interests of states by regulating their interactions and promoting cooperation.

Place of Individuals in International Law:

  1. Human Rights: International law has increasingly recognized the rights of individuals. Instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international conventions protect fundamental human rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and freedom from torture.

  2. International Criminal Law: The establishment of international criminal tribunals, like the International Criminal Court (ICC), holds individuals accountable for international crimes, such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

  3. Refugee and Asylum Law: International law provides protection for individuals fleeing persecution or violence through the 1951 Refugee Convention and related protocols.

  4. Diplomatic Protection: States can assert the rights of their nationals under international law, seeking remedies for individuals harmed by another state's actions.

Place of Non-State Entities in International Law:

  1. International Organizations: Non-state entities, including intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) like the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Amnesty International, play significant roles in shaping international law and advocating for various issues.

  2. Treaties and Agreements: Non-state entities, such as corporations and indigenous groups, can be parties to international treaties and agreements, and they may be bound by their provisions.

  3. Customary International Law: The practices and actions of non-state entities can contribute to the formation of customary international law. For example, the actions of non-state armed groups can affect the rules governing armed conflict.

Case Studies:

  1. Individuals: The trials of individuals at international criminal tribunals, like the ICC's prosecution of war criminals and perpetrators of genocide, demonstrate the accountability of individuals under international law.

  2. Non-State Entities: The Paris Agreement on climate change includes commitments by both states and non-state actors, emphasizing the role of non-state entities in addressing global challenges.

Conclusion: While the traditional focus of international law has been on the rights, duties, and interests of states, the evolving landscape of international relations has led to the recognition of the rights and interests of individuals and the role of non-state entities. This broader perspective reflects the need for a more inclusive and responsive international legal framework that addresses contemporary global issues and challenges.

Do you agree with the statement that “Beginning with the Stockholm Declaration of 1972, there has been an increased reliance upon non-binding international instruments dealing with environment”? Why has this trend developed and have these instruments been more useful than treaties? Explain. 

Introduction: The statement that "Beginning with the Stockholm Declaration of 1972, there has been an increased reliance upon non-binding international instruments dealing with the environment" reflects a notable trend in international environmental law. This response will examine why this trend has developed and whether non-binding international instruments have been more useful than treaties in addressing environmental issues.

Development of the Trend:

  1. Flexibility: Non-binding instruments, such as declarations and resolutions, provide flexibility in addressing emerging environmental challenges. Unlike treaties, they do not require complex negotiation processes or ratification by states.

  2. Political Will: International negotiations often face challenges in reaching binding agreements due to divergent national interests. Non-binding instruments allow states to express their political will and commitment to environmental protection without binding legal obligations.

  3. Urgency: Environmental issues often require rapid responses. Non-binding instruments can be adopted more quickly than treaties, allowing for swift action in the face of environmental crises.

Usefulness of Non-Binding Instruments:

  1. Global Norms: Non-binding instruments can establish global norms and principles that guide states' behavior. For example, the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 set forth key principles of environmental protection, contributing to the development of customary international law.

  2. Capacity Building: These instruments often include provisions for capacity building, technology transfer, and financial assistance, which are crucial for developing countries to address environmental challenges effectively.

  3. Soft Law Influence: Non-binding instruments create "soft law," which can exert significant influence on state behavior. States may voluntarily comply with these norms due to international peer pressure, reputational concerns, or a desire for cooperation.

  4. Adaptive Response: Non-binding instruments can adapt more easily to evolving scientific knowledge and changing circumstances, allowing for continuous improvement in environmental governance.


  1. Paris Agreement (2015): While a treaty, the Paris Agreement combines elements of binding and non-binding commitments. It sets binding emissions reduction targets (treaty elements) while also including non-binding provisions, such as financial pledges and nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which allow countries to voluntarily increase their climate action.

  2. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992): Adopted at the Rio Earth Summit, this non-binding instrument established principles for sustainable development, shaping subsequent environmental agreements.

Conclusion: The trend of relying on non-binding international instruments dealing with the environment has developed due to their flexibility, speed, and ability to create global norms. These instruments have been useful in guiding state behavior, promoting cooperation, and addressing environmental challenges. While they do not replace the need for binding treaties in some cases, non-binding instruments complement the international environmental legal framework and provide valuable tools for addressing pressing environmental issues in a rapidly changing world.

It is generally viewed that “What the U.N. did in the 20th century for maintenance of peace and security, the W.T.O is going to play the same role on economic and trade relations in 21st century.” Discuss the above statement in view of the changing notion of political sovereignty to economic sovereignty of State. 

Introduction: The statement comparing the United Nations' role in maintaining peace and security in the 20th century to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) role in economic and trade relations in the 21st century highlights the changing dynamics of international relations. This response will discuss the statement in the context of the evolving notion of political sovereignty to economic sovereignty of states.

Changing Notion of Sovereignty:

  1. 20th Century: Political Sovereignty: In the 20th century, political sovereignty was central to the international system. States focused on protecting their territorial integrity, national security, and political autonomy. International organizations like the United Nations were established to promote peace and prevent conflicts between states.

  2. 21st Century: Economic Sovereignty: In the 21st century, economic sovereignty has gained prominence. States increasingly prioritize their economic interests, recognizing the significance of international trade and economic relations. The globalization of economies has interconnected states in unprecedented ways, emphasizing the need for cooperation and rules in the economic sphere.

Role of the United Nations (UN) in the 20th Century:

  1. Peace and Security: The UN played a crucial role in maintaining peace and security by mediating conflicts, facilitating peacekeeping operations, and promoting disarmament.

  2. Sovereign Equality: The UN upheld the principle of sovereign equality, respecting the political sovereignty of member states while fostering cooperation in areas of common interest.

  3. Global Governance: It provided a platform for states to address global challenges collectively, including issues like climate change and human rights.

Role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the 21st Century:

  1. Economic and Trade Relations: The WTO is dedicated to regulating international trade and economic relations among its member states. It establishes rules and standards to govern trade and reduce trade barriers.

  2. Trade Facilitation: The WTO facilitates the negotiation of trade agreements, dispute settlement mechanisms, and the enforcement of trade rules, promoting economic cooperation among member states.

  3. Economic Sovereignty: While upholding the principle of sovereignty, the WTO acknowledges that economic interdependence requires states to abide by international trade rules, even if they limit their economic autonomy to some extent.


  1. UN Peacekeeping: The UN has been involved in numerous peacekeeping missions, such as in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo in the 20th century, contributing to the resolution of conflicts.

  2. WTO Dispute Settlement: The WTO has resolved trade disputes between member states, such as the "Banana War" between the European Union and the United States, demonstrating its role in regulating economic relations.

Conclusion: The comparison between the UN's role in the 20th century and the WTO's role in the 21st century reflects the changing dynamics of international relations from political sovereignty to economic sovereignty. While the UN focused on maintaining political stability and peace, the WTO plays a critical role in regulating economic and trade relations among states. In today's globalized world, economic interdependence and cooperation are essential for prosperity and stability, and the WTO's role reflects this new reality. States must balance their economic sovereignty with the need for international economic cooperation to address the complex challenges of the 21st century.

The document UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Law Optional Notes for UPSC.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
43 videos|395 docs

FAQs on UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) - Law Optional Notes for UPSC

1. What is the significance of UPSC Mains Law Paper 1 in the civil services examination?
Ans. The UPSC Mains Law Paper 1 is a crucial component of the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It tests the candidates' knowledge and understanding of various legal concepts and principles. The paper assesses their ability to apply legal reasoning in analyzing and solving complex legal problems. Scoring well in this paper is essential for candidates aspiring to join the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and other prestigious civil services.
2. How should I prepare for the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1?
Ans. To prepare for the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1, candidates should focus on a comprehensive study of the syllabus prescribed by the UPSC. They should refer to standard textbooks and study materials recommended by experts. It is important to cover topics like constitutional law, administrative law, international law, contract law, criminal law, and other relevant areas of law. Additionally, solving previous years' question papers and taking mock tests can help candidates familiarize themselves with the exam pattern and improve their time management skills.
3. Are there any specific tips for writing answers in the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1?
Ans. Yes, there are certain tips that can help candidates write effective answers in the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1. Firstly, it is important to understand the question properly and identify the key issues involved. Candidates should structure their answers in a logical manner, starting with an introduction, followed by a clear presentation of arguments and supporting evidence, and concluding with a summary of their key points. Additionally, referencing relevant case laws, legal provisions, and scholarly opinions can enhance the quality of the answers.
4. What are the key areas of law that candidates should focus on for the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1?
Ans. Candidates appearing for the UPSC Mains Law Paper 1 should focus on key areas of law such as constitutional law, administrative law, international law, contract law, criminal law, and other relevant subjects prescribed in the syllabus. They should have a good understanding of the Indian Constitution, its features, fundamental rights, and directive principles of state policy. Familiarity with landmark judgments, important legal provisions, and recent developments in these areas of law is essential to answer questions effectively in the examination.
5. Are there any specific resources or reference books that can aid in the preparation of UPSC Mains Law Paper 1?
Ans. Yes, there are several resources and reference books that can aid in the preparation of UPSC Mains Law Paper 1. Some recommended books include "Constitution of India" by P.M. Bakshi, "Administrative Law" by I.P. Massey, "International Law" by Malcolm N. Shaw, "Contract Law" by Avtar Singh, and "Criminal Law" by P.S.A. Pillai. Additionally, candidates can refer to legal magazines, online legal databases, and UPSC-specific study materials available in the market. It is important to choose reliable and updated resources for effective preparation.
43 videos|395 docs
Download as PDF
Explore Courses for UPSC exam

How to Prepare for UPSC

Read our guide to prepare for UPSC which is created by Toppers & the best Teachers
Signup for Free!
Signup to see your scores go up within 7 days! Learn & Practice with 1000+ FREE Notes, Videos & Tests.
10M+ students study on EduRev
Related Searches





shortcuts and tricks


UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC


Semester Notes


Viva Questions


mock tests for examination


past year papers








UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC




Important questions


Sample Paper


UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2018: Law Paper 1 (Section- B) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC


study material


practice quizzes


Previous Year Questions with Solutions


video lectures


Objective type Questions


Extra Questions