National law is the legal framework of a nation. It is practiced by courts and the legal profession. The United States typically respects the laws of other nations. However, in recent years, non-state law has become prominent.
International “law” is treaty agreements, which operate automatically in the legal system of a nation. Treaties can provide for national jurisdiction, and enact international legal obligations into domestic law.
As a result, a state’s national law may be considered inapplicable if it conflicts with a supranational legal system. The question of whether international law applies to a state is a topic of vigorous debate. Some scholars believe that only states can interpret international law commitments voluntarily, while others argue that domestic law is the best basis for interpreting international law.
Some sources of international law include treaties, the United Nations Security Council, and the U.S. Constitution. In addition, judicial bodies and diplomatic processes can assist a state in interpreting international law.
In addition, countries have treaties for international trade and military cooperation. For example, an aircraft flying to another country must meet international safety standards.
A supranational judicial body or tribunal may also assist a state in interpreting international law. Such bodies may include the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
When a nation cedes judicial decisions to a common tribunal, that nation’s national law is replaced by supranational law. This is the case when a nation ratifies the treaty and the implementing authorities and courts of other nations directly enforce the provisions of the convention.