What is National Law?

national law

National law is a body of rules which establishes and regulates a Government by laying down checks and balances and limitations on the powers of that Government. It consists of a set of primary laws guiding the society and may also incorporate a Bill of Rights. National law can be formally written in the form of a Constitution but many societies have no formal written constitution, but their legal and political systems may provide enduring constitutional principles.

For example the National Labor Relations Act in the United States established a workplace democracy which provides employees the right to form unions, bargain collectively with employers and have their representation determined by secret ballot. This has remained as an enduring constitutional principle.

Another example is Victoria’s applied law system, which operates under the Education and Care Services National Regulations and the Education and Care Services National Standards (the National Standards). This provides a consistent application of a national standard for the provision of education and care across the country but enables variations to be made in the context of local circumstances and needs.

The relationship between international law and municipal law rests on two principal schools of thought. Dualists see international law and municipal law as separate, with the application of international law to municipal law dependent upon it being incorporated into municipal law by either an act of parliament or other political act, or through judicial interpretation. Monists however, see international law as an integral part of the municipal legal system and therefore applies automatically to municipalities that are parties to relevant international conventions.

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Cape Town, South Africa