National law is the body of legal rules governing a particular nation. It is enforced by courts. These rules may be enacted by legislatures, or they may be created by superlative authority.
In the United States, federal laws are enacted by the Congress. They are published in the United States Code. Some laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, prohibit the killing of endangered animals. Other laws, such as the Education and Care Services National Law Act, provide a national standard for the education of children.
In addition, many countries have legislation relating to disability. This legislation sets a national standard for the treatment of persons with disabilities, including prohibitions against discrimination. A national constitution also may provide for integration of international legal obligations into domestic law.
International law, on the other hand, is a body of law that governs the conduct of states. It is based on treaties between sovereign nations. It also includes the interpretation of international law by judicial bodies and parties.
The two systems are often presented in terms of dualism. While the national system is a community of states that are not governed by a supranational judicial institution, the international system is a federation of states that is subject to supranational laws and rules.
For example, the United States is not considered a “nation state” under international law, but it respects the laws of other nations. On the other hand, international conventions become national laws when they are ratified.