Domestic Law Vs International Law

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Law is a set of rules for the people of a state/region to abide based on relevant values and principles that should be upheld by that society. Domestic law is established within the three branches of a typical government of a nation state: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. International law, however, lacks a structure as defined as domestic law. The foundation of international law dates back to the origins of the state, and from there, the concept evolved with the ideas of many great theorists. Hugo Grotius, is considered to be the “Father of International Law” (Rourke, 2001). Grotius helped establish the sources of international law, its role in regulation, and application to various circumstances. International law is considered to be…show more content…
The key differences between international law and domestic law are: structure of law system, and effectiveness of enforcement.
The international law system is more dynamic and decentralized than that of domestic law; by lacking a formal executive, legislative, and judicial system there is a lot of gray area. Rather than the traditional branches of government, international law relies on its three main adjudicators: the state, the UN Security Council, and the international courts (Lecture, 2014). The states must decide to take action. The UN Security Council was supposed to have the executive power, however they can only veto, they cannot establish or clarify rules, nor enforce them. It can impose sanctions, either economic or military, but forcible action within the UN is rare because it requires full co-ordination amongst the five permanent members: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America (Shaw, 1997). “According to the Statue of the International Court of Justice, [there are] four sources of law: international treaties, international custom, the general principles of law, and judicial decisions and scholarly legal writing” (Rourke,
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The domestic system also has greater means to enforce these laws such as their police, and judicial court system along with effective punishments such as fines and imprisonment. Malcolm Shaw states: “the principal subjects of international law are nation-states, not individual citizens;” whereas domestic law focuses more on the citizens of their state (1997). Although the international system doesn’t have the same power and force when it comes to enforcing laws, surprisingly, it does have relatively high rates of compliance. Different areas of international law are more easily enforced. For example, international trade can be regulated effectively because it is a yes or no matter, it excludes the more controversial aspects such as customs and tradition. International law struggles to enforce laws based on morality and human rights, primarily because of their diverse interpretations across cultures (Theiler, 2014). Improvements in international law are occurring regularly in hopes of eventually becoming as effective, if not more effective than domestic law. International law can be costly, imposing sanctions can be very expensive and rewards are also costly and unpopular among states. The concept of “Reversible rewards” has been groundbreaking for the international system. It is still costly, however it has better results. The way it works is, first the money is offered to the

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