Theoretical Issues: Monism and Dualism
The theoretical standpoints that have been advanced with an endeavour to explain and clarify the relationship between international law and municipal law are monism and dualism. The problem with invoking the monist-dualist arguments to address the relationship between municipal law and international law has therefore resulted in the emergence of the harmonisation or coordination approach. The status and role of international law in municipal law depends, by and large, on the legal system and practice of each State especially the approach of its courts towards international law. Thus municipal courts in particular have a significant role to play in adapting international law to the national legal system. This chapter examines the extent to which the place and role of international law in national laws of these countries can adequately be discussed with the aid of the traditional theories of monism and dualism. It demonstrates that the treatment of international law in these countries is increasingly becoming autochthonous.