Comparison Between International Law and National Law

Topics: Law, International Court of Justice, Common law Pages: 5 (1541 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of national and international law. To what extent can they be said to be similar or different?

The world has witnessed the development of law since times immemorial in response to growing interaction among the individuals resulting in a need for a framework to regulate their interactions in the territories they live in. Similarly, ever since the interaction between the states has increased, the evolution of International Law has evolved accordingly side by side the National Law regulating the relations among the states. The growing role of both National Law and International Law in their respective spheres and in intersecting spheres has given rise to a debate over their relation to each other. International Law:

International Law is the law that governs the relations among states and other international legal persons, and regulates relations between states. The sources of International Law are customs grown up among states and lawmaking treaties concluded by them. There is no “black or white” answer, the most agreed upon common ground for the description of sources is found, although not exhaustively, in article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Stating that treaties are the main source, then come customs, after those general principles of law recognized by civilized countries, and finally judicial decisions and teachings of the most highly qualifies publicist of the various nations. National law:

National law is the law of a state, which governs the domestic affairs of the state. The sources of Municipal Law are customs grown up within the boundaries of the state concerned and statutes enacted by the law giving authority. Municipal Law regulates relations between the individuals under the sway of a state and the relations between the state and the individual. Strengths and Weaknesses of International Law and National Law: 1.National law is conditioned by the fundamental principle or rule that state legislation has to be obeyed, while International Law is conditioned by the principle “pacta sunt servanda” i.e. agreements between states are to be respected—which leaves International Law helpless as to the implementation of its rules and regulations over the states in the absence of any enforcing body vis-à-vis National Law which has the state apparatus at its disposal for its implementation in the form of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Moreover, each nation can opt out of international treaties if it deems that it is not in line with its national interest, which exposes the major weakness of International Law. 2.International Law is slow to adapt to the changes that are taking place in the world and even slower to absorb changes and encompass them into its existing framework. To add to its problems, the states act individually in accepting any changes in its framework and have the option of not complying with the law if they do not agree to do so. Whereas the national law keeps on improving in response to the changing requirement of the society thus it is in sync with the cultural, economic, and political developments of the states. 3.The technological advancement and globalization have spawned new problems beyond the capacity of National Law to be solved such as the regulation of outer space, the division of the deep sea ground, the protection of human rights, anti-terrorist actions, the control of international finance system, the prevention of global warming etc. These issues have increased the relevance and importance of International Law in the contemporary world due to its wide range of jurisdiction as compared to the limited jurisdiction of National Law. 4.Question of priority: Scholars belonging to Dualist point of view assert that the two laws are not to supersede, but to coordinate with each other; therefore, there is no conflict between the two. If a case in which conflict arises between International Law...
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