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Comparative International Law$
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Anthea Roberts, Paul B. Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, and Mila Versteeg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697570.001.0001

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International Law in National Legal Systems

International Law in National Legal Systems

An Empirical Investigation

(p.209) 10 International Law in National Legal Systems
Comparative International Law

Pierre-Hugues Verdier

Mila Versteeg

Oxford University Press

International legal scholars have long recognized the importance of the relationship between international law and domestic legal systems. This chapter draws upon a new data set, which covers 101 countries for the period 1815–2013 and records specific features of national approaches to international law, including treaty-making procedures, the status of treaties in domestic law, and the reception of customary international law. The chapter finds that national legal systems have become more likely to give treaties direct effect and hierarchical superiority over domestic law, but at the same time have steadily expanded the categories of treaties whose ratification requires prior legislative approval. With respect to CIL, the chapter finds that the vast majority of national legal systems now recognize custom as directly applicable, at least in principle, but generally consider it to be hierarchically inferior to domestic law. The chapter discusses the implications of these findings for comparative international law.

Keywords:   international law, domestic law, national legal systems, reception, treaties, customary international law, comparative international law

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