International Commercial Arbitration and International Courts

25 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2008

See all articles by Mark Movsesian

Mark Movsesian

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: September 12, 2008


States treat international commercial arbitration (ICA) and international adjudication quite differently. While domestic courts routinely enforce the rulings of ICA panels, they are much less willing to enforce the judgments of international courts like the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In this essay, I explain why. States treat ICA and international adjudication differently because they are very different enterprises. ICA avoids legitimacy problems, fosters domestic economic growth, and appeals to influential domestic constituencies. By contrast, international adjudication raises serious legitimacy concerns, does not clearly foster economic growth, and cannot rely on the same level of interest-group support. I explore these differences by comparing state practice under the most important ICA convention, the New York Convention of 1958, with the longstanding controversy over the domestic effect of ICJ judgments under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations - a controversy addressed by both American and German courts.

Keywords: International Commercial Arbitration, International Court of Justice, International Courts, International Dispute Settlement, International Judgments, Supreme Court, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Movsesian, Mark, International Commercial Arbitration and International Courts (September 12, 2008). Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Forthcoming, St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-0146, Available at SSRN:

Mark Movsesian (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

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