Friday, 11 February 2022

Relationship between International Law and municipal law

 Relationship between International Law and municipal law 

Municipal law is the national, domestic or internal law of sovereign state, which are dealing with state policy. It is also known as national law. 

Public International law is the body of rules that is legally binding on states and international organisation in their interaction with other states, international organisation, individuals and other entities. 

Neither municipal law nor international law has the supremacy to each other; they are both made to solve the problems of Interrelationship between national ana international law: 

1. Monism it says that international law does not need to be translated into national law. Only signing the treaty will not make that a law, but it will be considered as both International and national law on same footing. 

International law can be directly applied by a national judge and can be directly invoked by citizen, just as if it were national law. In India judge can only give the decision on the basis of the treaty made. 

Delegation theory under monist theory it says that in our constitution international law gives the constitution rules so there is the delegation of rules to each state. The rules decide when and how the international treaties or convention will come into force. 

International law given some powers to the constitution. So, the international law is considered to be supreme power. 

Dualism it says that there is difference between International Law and the latter must be incorporated by the former. They are not considered at the same footing, it has to incorporated the international law to national law prior, then only it will be applied as a national law. It means that when a person signs the treaty outside the country it will not be considered, and he sign the treaty within the country also incorporated the international laws to national laws then only it will come into enforce. 

Transformation theory it means that the treaties are of the nature of promises which have to be transformed into minimal statutes which are if the nature of commands. 

Specific adoption theory (dualist) it is a type of a word play which says that in international law has no application in a sovereign state until and unless the sovereign state specifically adopts the international law by way of enactments.

Harmonisation Theory


All Contradictions between them must be harmonized, the judges must aim to harmonize both systems rather than treating one system superior to another.

  • This theory makes sense because international law and municipal law traditionally addressed relatively different issues; It is more sensible theory for the practical purposes because both International and municipal law when came into prior initial period they had the different issues to deal with it. Like interaction between the states in International Law, while municipal law deals with the mutual benefits of state. So, international law had individual centric and municipal law was already individually centric.

  • International law concentrated on relationship between states and municipal, law concentrated on relationship between persons. 

  • But now they have a convergence in their functions because ultimately as the Harmonisation theory suggests the goal of both of them is to secure wellbeing of individuals.

Ex. Environmental laws, commercial laws, human right laws.

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