What is National Law?

national law

National law is the set of legal rules that establishes government structure and governance mechanisms at a country level. National law also includes the rules governing administrative law, which governs how a State implements management and regulatory authority (Stewart 2003). It is generally considered the locus for efforts to assure legitimacy in governmental implementation of law.

National laws typically include constitutional provisions that incorporate treaties and international norms into domestic law. These “transformational” devices vary by State: one method, called general transformation, automatically imposes domestic law enforcement on a State after ratification; another, known as special transformation, requires legislative action beyond ratification to give effect to a treaty.

A Bill is the draft of a new law. Most Bills are drawn up by government departments and approved by the Cabinet before they are submitted to Parliament. Bills can also be introduced by individual Members of Parliament as private Members’ Legislative Proposals. In both cases, the Bill is vetted by the State Law Advisors to ensure it is consistent with the Constitution and correctly drafted.

The National Constitution specifies functional areas in which the National Assembly and provincial legislatures share the right to make laws. These include national security, maintaining economic unity and ensuring minimum standards of service delivery in the provinces. The Congress may make laws on other issues at its discretion.

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