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Supranational applied to legal systems refers to both institutions created and governance conducted at a level higher than the nation-state. Since the Second World War, groups of states have signed agreements (often regional) to cede some decision-making authority over specific subjects to collective entities, thereby reducing any individual member-state's abilities legally to act unilaterally. These supranational regimes, and, significantly, the courts that serve them, raise questions and provoke new thinking about the interplay between domestic law, international law, citizenship, and sovereignty.

This broad definition of supranational hides contested details. Beyond the idea of ceding sovereignty, there is little consensus about the meaning of supranational. Because supranational institutions have multinational participants, usually constituted through treaties made under international law, some commentators treat them as merely a subset ...

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