The paper "International Trade Law and International Legal Systems" is a wonderful example of a Law Assignment. The international legal system is in many ways different from the major legal systems used by nations around the world. Three of the most prominent features of an international legal system that separates it from the national legal system are (a) there is no legislature to make the law, (b) there is no executive branch to enforce the law, and (c) there is no world court to resolve international disputes. This is because international laws are the laws that bind nations and their citizens as one under a single and unified legal system. Major legal systems used in different nations in the world are English Common Laws traditions (practiced in US and UK), Civil Code traditions (practiced in China, Mexico, EU, and Japan), Theological Legal Systems (Shari’ ah Law, Jewish and Israeli Law, and Hindu Law), and other legal systems (like Customary Laws and Socialist Law).
Common law is the basis of the English legal system, the English colonies, and other English-speaking countries. It refers to the precedence-based element of the legal system that uses principle-based reasoning on every circumstance to evaluate applicable laws (Wisegeek, 2003).
Civil laws are widely recognized and respected as these laws are instituted by judges and juries in previous proceedings. Civil law, on the other hand, is the oldest and the most popular of the laws used by nations. Civil law was developed during Emperor Justinian’ s rule in Rome and was later adopted and expounded by France in 1804 and later by Germany (1896). Theocratic laws are laws used by some countries that are generally based on religion or “ legal faith” .
A good example of theocratic law is the Islamic legal system. Islamic legal system uses Shari’ ah courts and employs the Qur’ an as the source of law and legal principles. One of the other legal systems used by nations and political parties is the socialist law used by Russians during the Bolshevik Revolution as well as the laws used in China, Cuba, and North Korea. An example of the display of the power of the International Legal System is the resolution of the issue between Greece and Great Britain in Ambatielos Case (Bruce, 1998; 64). where a Greek ship-owner came in conflict with the British government where the International Court of Justice has to intervene to resolve the case. The major differences between the international legal system and the legal systems used by countries are substance, sources of law, language, legal reasoning, and procedure.
International laws cover issues that are beyond the legal jurisdiction of nation-states whereas the coverage of national law is only within its political boundaries. The source of international laws is treatises and convention, custom, general principles, judicial decisions, and scholarly writing whereas the sources of national law depend on what country uses these laws (as was discussed above).
While the language used for both laws are equally difficult to understand, international laws are more difficult to comprehend than national laws because of the large scope it covers. Translating and applying international laws to specific international disputes are very difficult to do because of the limitations of translation which reflects the Italian proverb “ a translator is a traitor” .
ReferencesWorld Intellectual Property Organization. What is Intellectual Property? 2009. Accessed on March 22, 2009 from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/