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Mrs. Laura Convertini, founding member of our Legal Office, is of multinational extraction and was educated in Switzerland, England, Germany, Italy and Greece. This mutlinational background, coupled with her excellent command of seven languages, her deep knowledge of other European cultures and the fact that she was designated as trusted Lawyer by the Italian Embassy in Greece, and collaborates closely with the Embassy of Switzerland and France in Greece, impart an international character and orientation to our Legal Office that translates in an in-depth specialization in International and European Law.

International law is a body of rules recognized by states or nations as binding upon their mutual relations, and their relations with international organizations. International law is usually incorporated in treaties between sovereign states, and/or derived from such treaties.

The term “International law” may refer to two areas of law:

  • Public international law regulates the relationship between states and international organisations dealing with areas, such as human rights, treaty law, law of the sea, international criminal law and international humanitarian law.
  • Private international law, or Conflict of laws, is a set of rules of procedural law that determines which legal system shall govern and the law of which jurisdiction shall apply to a given legal dispute. These rules apply when a legal dispute has a cross-border element, such as a contract concluded by parties located in different states, or when the cross-border element concerns a multi-jurisdictional country, such as Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

Although EU law may be regarded as a specific form of international law, the main body of European Union law has some particular features that do not usually appear in international law. In particular, citizens may claim rights guaranteed by EU law before national courts of European Union Member-States, whereas international law usually needs first to be transposed into national legislation before citizens may be entitled to invoke it. Moreover, EU law often prevails over the national legislation of EU Member-States.

International law derives mainly from international treaties or conventions, as well as a set of commonly recognized values, standards and principles, which do not necessarily have to be explicitly referred to in a treaty. International treaties may be bilateral (i.e. between two sovereign states) or multilateral (i.e. between more than two states). They are very often conducted and negotiated by an international organisation, such as the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, and many others. An important source of international law is also the case-law of international courts.

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