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Resolved, That the United States law should supersede International Law.

Background: The issue of United States law versus international law, which is unique in that it provides legal boundaries in disputes between countries rather than individuals, has been present since the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. Now, the United Nations provides much of the groundwork for international legislation. In recent years, President George W. Bush was criticized for straying from global law precedent in his dealings with Iraq and Afghanistan. Citing this incident, opponents of United States law supremacy say that disobeying international will causes a country’s actions to lose credibility and international support. Adversely, proponents of this resolution point to the overarching nature of worldwide law and its inability to be applicable to domestic issues.

Pro:

  • Foreign law has no role in considering United States Constitutional     conflicts. If the Supreme Court were to consider international decrees in its decisions, it would bring in unnecessary confusion and ambiguity.
  • The more large-scale a law is, the faster it becomes irrelevant to internal controversies.
  • United States law is more able to freely adapt to a dynamic political atmosphere than international law, which is constrained by multinational complications and is consequently often outdated.

Con:

  • The United States’ refusal to hold international law as the highest standard weakens worldwide support of our country’s actions.
  • If a global power such as the United States does not follow     multinational common law, it causes the legislation to lose     legitimacy. This was illustrated with the failure of the League of Nations.
  • Because international law encompasses multiple states, the laws of each     individual nation should not, by definition, be applicable in worldwide conflicts. Similarly, because the laws within a nation concern only that country, international law can not be brought in     for domestic issues.

Sources:
– Conflict of Laws.net (http://conflictoflaws.net/)
– Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc (http://www.ameu.org/uploads/maillison_feb21_03.pdf)
– United Nations (http://www.un.org/en/law/index.shtml)

2 Responses to “Resolved, That the United States law should supersede International Law.”

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