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Are standards and regulations (often set at international level) a kind of law?

For example aerospace standards: a company could be prosecuted if it did not follow particular standards. But is the standard a law, or is there always a separate national law that says; you must abide by this standard?

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    Unfortunately I don't have time to give you a complete answer, but with respect to the example, it depends. To have force within a country, international agreements would need the signatories to pass domestic legislation into law. Often, standards refer to Industry standards which are devised and enforced privately. For example, group of companies in same/similar Industries decides that to be a member of the "Association of X Companies", each Company must do x, y, and z. The enforcement there would be removal from the group if found non-compliant. – A.fm. Nov 19 '18 at 15:16
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    Why do you believe that an aerospace company could be prosecuted if they did not follow a particular standard? I don't know of any case that is like that... Standards are almost always optional, although it takes a lot of guess work out of interoperability and interfacing, but it isn't something you are prosecuted over (unless you said it adhered to X standard, but then did not). – Ron Beyer Nov 19 '18 at 16:39
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    @RonBeyer there's a difference, of course, between discretionary standards (such as those intended to help interoperability, like a standard specifying that a power outlet should have a particular shape and size) and mandatory standards (such as those implicated in safety, like a standard saying that a seat belt must withstand a certain force before it breaks open). But the mandatory standards are probably made mandatory by national law, which would explain why someone could be prosecuted for failing to comply with the standard. – phoog Nov 19 '18 at 21:21
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    @A.fm. some countries give treaties the force of law even in the absence of domestic legislation. This is for example explicit in the US constitution: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land..." – phoog Nov 19 '18 at 21:25
  • @phoog,only a self-executing treaty would hold up in a domestic court over a prior, inconsistent act of Congress. Non-self executing treaties require domestic legislation. There are also Congressional-Executive agreements that usually are treated the same as treaties. Also, Sole Executive agreements exist, but are less likely to hold up in court (there is controversy surrounding even their existence/use). But, treaties require a 2/3 vote of the Senate. So, even if it is not domestic "legislation," it's actually a higher standard than the mere majority needed to pass a law. – A.fm. Nov 19 '18 at 21:44

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