International and domestic law

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In this Chapter, the relationships between international and domestic law are explored for the purpose of illuminating how positivism, idealism and realism understand international law as a system of knowledge. Domestic law may be conceived as having four relationships to international law: constitutive, absorbent, constraining and contested. In the following sections, these relationships are delineated and illustrated by providing examples. As will become apparent, international law encounters domestic law in multiple inter- and intra-systemic ways, as law and non-law. This Chapter therefore offers a more nuanced portrayal of their relationship, moving beyond accounts of dualism, monism and national law as a mere ‘fact’ under international law. To be clear, the focus of this Chapter is on how international law encounters national legislation and judicial decisions, not the former’s use and operation in domestic jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international legal system as a system of knowledge
EditorsUlf Linderfalk
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781839105579
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022


  • international law
  • domestic law
  • interrelationship
  • positivism
  • idealism
  • realism


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