National Law

national law

National law is the set of rules that governs a nation. The rules lay out checks and balances for a Government, limit its power and establish enforceable rights. These rules can be justiciable in a court of law and may be enforceable through a constitutional supremacy clause. National laws may also reflect a commitment to human rights. These rights are often listed in a separate section commonly known as a Bill of Rights. They can be incorporated into a national constitution, legislation or unwritten common law.

A national law may be based on or incorporate international law or norms, including human rights norms. It can also be a combination of both. Some States will automatically “internationalize” treaty obligations through constitutional provisions. This process is sometimes called general transformation and mandates domestic enforcement of the treaty without the need for additional legislative action beyond ratification. Other States will require specific legislation in order to give a treaty domestic effect, which is sometimes called special transformation.

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Cape Town, South Africa