International and National Law

International and national law have different sources. Some treaties make international law applicable to national courts while others do not. Some treaties include the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court. Geneva Conventions may require national laws to follow the treaty provisions. National laws may also be enacted to implement international legal obligations, or be incorporated into national constitutions. These sources vary widely from country to country. However, national laws are generally very clear in their application and can guide you in choosing the right one for your situation.

If you want to learn more about national law, you can purchase hard copies of relevant legal texts. A collection of hardbound law books and ProView eBooks is also available. You can also purchase guides filtered by law practice areas. InforMEA has content related to national law for lawyers, paralegals, and students. Some of these materials may not be freely available elsewhere on the web. If you need specific legal advice, you should seek professional advice.

When we discuss the differences between federal and national law, we often talk of ‘national law.’ However, this term is a misnomer. In reality, we can say that national law is the common law of the United States. A common law system is a legal system where judges make laws and governments enforce them, while a federal system recognizes only laws passed by the legislature. These two systems share certain common characteristics, and so the term national law is frequently used interchangeably.

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