International Law is a convenient label for two discrete areas of practice.
Firstly, there is public international law, or the law of nations. This governs the law between States and is created through treaties, conventions and practice; dualist theory suggests international laws require to be incorporated domestically in order that they have the force of law within the State. An example is the European Convention on Human Rights, which is justiciable domestically through the Human Rights Act 1998.
Public international law is also characterised by international courts and tribunals, and members of Axiom have experience of representing parties, for example, before the European Court of Human Rights, and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Secondly, there is private international law, a quite distinct body of law governing disputes between individuals with a foreign element. These disputes raise questions such as: whose law governs a particular legal problem; do the Scottish courts have jurisdiction to hear an action of damages against a foreign company; where is a company domiciled; and how can a foreign court's order be enforced in Scotland.
The more that people, money, goods and services move around the world, capital and supply chains cross borders, the more disputes will contain a foreign element engaging the rules of private international law.
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union we may seek to forge new trading relationships globally and fresh issues of public and private international law may arise.
The UK’s new relationship with the European Union presents a panoply of international law issues which individuals, companies and public bodies will require advice upon.
Members of Axiom have extensive experience in both of these areas of practice. They are also frequently instructed in relation to disputes of an international nature both in Scotland and further afield.