One of the most popular areas of the law for attorneys to practice is international law. This is based on a set of agreements, treaties, and rules between countries that are considered binding. It covers three main areas.
Supranational Law – This is a type of international law that determines the limitation of rights between sovereign nations. Supranational law involves regional agreements that determine if a nation’s laws are inapplicable and if they are in conflict with a supranational body of rules. An example would be European Union Law. This organization provides specific laws that are followed by each of its Member States.
Conflict of Law or Private International Law – This covers any type of conflict between private entities. This could be corporations or individuals. If a corporation in one country wants to sue a corporation in another country, the jurisdiction to hear the dispute must be determined. What law should be applied must also be determined. This is known as Private International Law.
Public International Law – This is designed to control the relationship between international entities and nations. This involves international trade laws, treaty laws, international human rights laws, international criminal laws, the law of the sea, and more.
An international attorney is often involved in the process of resolving international disputes, handling mergers, negotiating contracts, and more. They must be knowledgeable about various legal systems. Understanding the source of international law is essential. Someone such as an international tax attorney must realize the tax implications that will influence a transaction between two countries. Their clients will want to know how to decrease their tax rates on a worldwide basis. International attorneys must be aware of the many different laws around the world and how they work together.
It is possible for a client to be based in one country and have their businesses registered in another country. This is someone who will need legal advice from someone with the knowledge to deal with legal as well as non-legal issues associated with different countries. There will be language issues and more to address. An international attorney will have a client’s expectation of knowing more than one language. Speaking the local language is viewed in many countries as polite. A client will need to have someone who knows how to function in more than one legal system.
The world is experiencing a time of globalization. The need for attorneys who have international training and knowledge is growing. When an attorney chooses to have a career in international law, it is a way to separate themselves from the legal crowd.