What is National Law?

national law

National law is a body of law that governs the relationship between a nation or state and its population. It can be divided into public and private law.

Definition of national law:

A rule of conduct, imposed upon and enforced among the members of a state.
Generally, national laws are based on common law, but there is some international human rights law that can influence how a country’s laws are developed and interpreted.

International and regional human rights law can be used as a basis for claims made by individuals in a national court system. It can also be used to aid in the interpretation of national law provisions or as a guide to the development of national law.

General and special transformations of treaties:

States incorporate treaties and norms into their domestic law by specific “transformational” devices. The first of these is called general transformation and mandates domestic enforcement without legislative action beyond ratification. The second is called special transformation and requires legislation.

National courts are expected to interpret or disapply national law in compliance with EU law, including the obligation to identify provisions of national law which represent an obstacle to the full application of EU law.

Depending on the level of protection required, courts may have to interpret or disapply any provision of national law that is contrary to a provision of EU law with direct effect. A national court’s ability to do this is influenced by the fact that it is under a legal obligation to eliminate any conflict between national law and EU law as quickly as possible, and in line with the requirements of European law.

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