Whether a claim is governed by national law or a foreign one depends on the particular circumstances of the case. Both territorialized and internationalized tribunals may apply national law in their jurisdiction. The host state’s sovereignty is a significant determinant in determining which law applies in a dispute. The parties’ intent to settle the dispute will often determine whether the claim is governed by national law. However, a party may want to consider other factors to determine whether it should be settled by a foreign court.
While some states consider international law to be superior to national law, many treaties grant states the power to interpret international rules in their domestic courts. This allows a claim of wrongful expropriation to arise under international law. In certain cases, international law is a part of a contract. In such cases, the state that contracts with a foreign country must comply with the provisions of the treaty, while the international law that governs the parties’ behavior may have no effect.
Although a legal system of international relations may have developed over the centuries, many countries have maintained their independence. Among the most influential legal theories of the past two centuries have been those of the naturalist school. In the late 18th century, natural rights became popular with philosophers such as Christian Wolff and Swiss jurist Emerich de Vattel. Throughout the 19th century, the idea of natural rights continued to influence international politics. In the early twentieth century, the concept gained additional salience.