The Difference between International Law and National Law
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So, literally, “international law” is defined as “law between nations (States),” which stem from agreements, embodied in a treaty, or customs that is recognized by all nations.
The definition of international law centers on the word “inter,” which means “between,” as opposed to “intra,” which means “within.”
National law, which is often referred to as domestic law, are those laws that exist “within” a particular nation (State).
1. (Traditional) theories
2. International law’s perspective on national law
3. National law’s perspective on international law
Dualism and monism
• Capture some, but not all of multifaceted relationship between domestic and international law today
• international and domestic legal order exist as two separated, distinct sets of legal orders
• Differences in: subjects, sources, content
• Requires ‘transformation’ of int. law into domestic law to make int. law binding on domestic authorities (incorporation) • States decide on modes of incorporation (how)
• National law has priority over int. law that has not been incorporated
Nat. law and int. law as one unitary, coherent system
Int. law at top of pyramid, (in)validating acts of domestic legal systems
In case of conflict, int. law prevails • No need for ‘transformation’ of int. law into domestic law
No strict distinction between subjects of nat. and int. law; role of individuals
According to Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, sources of international law, in order of precedence, are:
international conventions (treaties);
(b) international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
(c) the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
(d) judicial decision and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations.
• Nat. law and int. law as one unitary, coherent system
• Int. law at top of pyramid, (in)validating acts of domestic legal systems
• In case of conflict, int. law prevails • No need for ‘transformation’ of int. law into domestic law
• No strict distinction between subjects of nat. and int. law; role of individuals
The subject of international law
Special international social relations governed by international law