National law refers to laws that pertain to a specific nation or state. Entities and professionals use international law in situations that include relations between two or more countries, while national law focuses on county and state laws within a single nation. It can be difficult to understand how national law works, but it is important for prospective lawyers to understand how it functions in order to become successful in the legal profession.
Many countries have a system of incorporating international laws into their legal systems through specific methods known as transformation. This process allows for domestic enforcement and may make the law self-executing or require additional legislation to give it effect. Different states follow different practices in transforming treaties and other international laws, making them usable within their jurisdictions.
Some national courts have used international human rights law to inform their interpretations of their own domestic laws and the way in which those laws protect citizens from discrimination and abuse. This can lead to the creation of new or revised domestic laws, which may in turn influence international human rights norms and vice versa.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has also played a key role in developing an understanding of how national laws can be affected by international law and norms. In a series of cases including Filartiga v Pena Irala the Court made clear that national acts which conflict with EU law must be interpreted in light of customary international law. This means that the domestic provisions should not be applied if the overriding EU norms are more beneficial to people in the State.