The interface between international and national law, with a particular emphasis on Norway

Illustration photo of a globe, a scale of justice and a hammer of justice.

About the initiative

PluriCourts and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo are cooperating on a research initiative on the Interface between International and National Law, with a special emphasis on Norwegian law. The main objective of the initiative is to research the legal dimensions of the interrelationship between domestic law and a variety of branches within international law, in a comparative context. The initiative will analyze and explain how international law is currently being implemented and how it should be best implemented in Norwegian legislation, administration, and case law. The initiative intends to include normative and political research. Over time, we aim to provide guidance for the development of the educational curricula at the University of Oslo on the interface between international and national law.

Relevant research topics

Relevant research topics include:

Constitutional aspects

  • Is the relationship between international law and domestic law derived from the Constitution itself?
  • International law’s effect on the interpretation of the Constitution.
  • International law’s engagement with questions concerning the constitutional separation of powers.

Incorporation through legislation

  • The frequent application of ‘sector-monism’ in Norwegian legislation.
  • Sector-monism and its effect on separation of powers.
  • Can sector-monism provisions be used as avoidance techniques to blunt the openness between domestic law and international law?

Relevant principles of interpretation

  • Techniques for application of international law’s effect on the relationship between Norwegian law and international law.
  • The reach of the presumption of compatibility between Norwegian law and international law.
  • Normative aspects related to the presumption of compatibility.

The role of relevant actors

  • The relevant domestic actors’ approach to international law. Do they seek alignment, avoidance, or contestation when engaging with questions of international law?
  • The relevant domestic institutions and agents’ potential ambitions to develop international law.

Law and politics

  • Geopolitical and current global trends’ impact on the interrelationship between domestic and international law.
  • Shifts in the global order’s effect on the relationship between Norwegian law and international law.

International organizations and international courts

  • The intrusiveness of decisions by international organizations (IOs) and international courts and tribunals (ICs) in national law/interaction with national organs, ranging from detailed case studies and mechanisms of deference to theoretical issues concerning separation of powers.
  • Interaction by domestic organs with IOs and ICs, including how domestic bodies may influence the contents and interpretation of international law and judgments by ICs.
  • The consequences of IO and IC decisions for the domestic constitutional order.

Methods of work

We aim to engage researchers from PluriCourts, including guest researchers, as well as researchers from the Faculty of Law, the Social Science Faculty, and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo to conduct research on the fields they find of particular interest. We aim to create open forums for them to discuss and further develop individual or joint research projects.

The Research Initiative will work through the research group on international law established by the Law Faculty in 2022.

PluriCourts’ annual Concepts and Methods conference was in 2021 dedicated to the interface between international and Norwegian law. Together with researchers from the above-mentioned faculties, we held a workshop to further develop the initiative, identify interesting research topics and discuss the existing research on the matter. See the event page here.

Published Nov. 10, 2021 8:45 AM - Last modified Sep. 2, 2022 9:41 AM