Municipal law

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This article is about a term of art relating to international law. For laws governing municipalities, see Local ordinance.

Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign state defined in opposition to international law. Municipal law includes many levels of law: not only national law but also law at the state, provincial, territorial, regional or local levels. While the state may regard these as distinct categories of law, international law is largely uninterested in this distinction and treats them all as one[citation needed]. Similarly, international law makes no distinction between the ordinary law of the state and its constitutional law.

Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties from 1969 provides that, where a treaty conflicts with a state's municipal law (including the state's constitution), the state is still obliged to meet its obligations under the treaty. The only exception to this rule is provided by Article 46 of the Vienna Convention: A state's expression of consent to be bound by a treaty was a manifest violation of a "rule of its internal law of fundamental importance".[1]


  1. ^ The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Accessed 8 February 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Reydams, Luc Universal Jurisdiction: International and Municipal Legal Perspectives, (Oxford Monographs in International Law), (Oxford University Press, 2004) ISBN 978-0-19-927426-0.
  • Paolo Davide Farah e Piercarlo Rossi, "National Energy Policies and Energy Security in the Context of Climate Change and Global Environmental Risks: A Theoretical Framework for Reconciling Domestic and International Law Through a Multiscalar and Multilevel Approach", European Energy and Environmental Law Review (EEELR), Kluwer Law International, Vol. 20, No. 6, pp. 232–244, 2011.