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Internalization of International Law

Dana Zartner

Subject International Studies » International Law

Key-Topics governance, international cooperation, social norms

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444336597.2010.x


Comment on this article   The internalization of international law into the domestic law of a state is a subject which has not received widespread attention from scholars of international relations, though it is a key component of our understanding of the role that international law plays in shaping state behavior. More extensively considered within the international law literature, the internalization of international law into a state's domestic law is a key component by which international law becomes obligatory. An international legal principle agreed upon by states at the international system level requires some mechanism by which the legal norms become integrated into the understanding of what is the appropriate and lawful behavior at the domestic level. As domestic law is grounded in culturally relevant legal norms and institutions – for example, grounded in the US Constitution in the United States – so must international law become grounded in order to reach the level of opinio juris sive necessitatis , or obligation, which is necessary to shape state action. Moreover, as international law has broadened its scope to an increasing number of subjects and to an increasing number of actors, understanding the impact that internalization of international law into domestic law may have on behavior furthers our understanding of the guiding force of international law and the effect ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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