International law is the field of legal practice dealing with the laws of various nations and how they relate to each other. Attorneys focused on international law typically practice in one of three areas within the legal system:
- Private International Law
- Public International Law
- Supranational International Law
Private International Law
Attorneys in the discipline of private international law generally handle issues of jurisdiction between nations and determine which nation's laws are applicable in the given case. For instance, in the case of a crime committed in one country by a citizen of another, private international law attorneys provide legal opinions on the correct legal basis for the charges and the correct jurisdiction for the case to be heard.
Public International Law
Public international law involves matters of legal importance between nations including the establishment of treaties, navigational, mineral, and coastal rights and borders, and other matters that require negotiation and litigation between two independent nations. Public international law is often governed by regulations outlined by the United Nations or established by international treaties to include the Geneva Convention accords.
Supranational law typically involves an entity like the European Union, which governs a large number of member nations and adjudicates disputes and differences between them. Supranational law is distinct from other forms of international law because it implicitly depends on the consent of the member nations who have agreed to have their disputes settled by the governing body.
International Law Attorneys Can Help
International law attorneys present arguments regarding jurisdiction and applicable national laws, draft treaties and negotiate disputes between nations, and work to resolve international conflicts legally. They represent their client government in legal proceedings and make recommendations regarding the international law governing a variety of topics in order to protect their client's interest in the international community.