International law developed originally as a body of norms concerning, and for the benefit of, States and governments. The protection of the rights of the individual was of secondary concern in its early history. Even today, most of its basic premises, rules and principles are still shaped by the inter-State system characterising contemporary international relations. However, in modern times, there has been rising global insistence that States, governments, institutions and laws exist to serve the people and there is a persistent, universal outcry for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual to be respected and assured. The human factor is emerging, at last, as the factor which should govern in every situation. With this objective in mind, the norms of international law are coming under persistent scrutiny from the point of view of whether they are conducive to the promotion and protection of the rights of the individual. And where the law has not yet developed responses for dealing with problems, old or new, affecting the rights of the individual, the international community expects of it that it should quickly show its capacity for imaginativeness and innovation and that it should demonstrate its ability to discharge its basic function: respecting, ensuring and advancing the dignity and rights of individuals throughout the world.