The Permanent Court of International Justice and Domestic Courts: A Variation in Roles

THE LASTING LEGACY OF THE PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE, Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Christian J. Tams, Panos Merkouris, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2012

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-21

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2011-09

23 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011 Last revised: 5 Dec 2014

See all articles by Jean d'Aspremont

Jean d'Aspremont

Sciences Po Law School; University of Manchester - School of Law

Date Written: August 29, 2011

Abstract

By virtue of other international adjudicatory bodies or the role of domestic courts, the Permanent Court of International Justice (hereafter PCIJ) was far from being entrusted of any sort of monopoly on the application of international law. It is fair to say that the PCIJ operated in a multi-judiciary world made of domestic and international judicial bodies equally dealing with questions of international law. In such a context, this paper examines some of the dynamics of the multi-judiciary world of the first half of the 20th century. It particularly zeroes in on the interactions of the Permanent Court of International Justice with other judicial bodies, in particular domestic judges. The first section offers a brief overview of the PCIJ’s claim that it is a court of the international legal order and its use of the case-law of other international adjudicatory bodies. The second section examines in further detail the relationship between the PCIJ and domestic courts, contrasting it with the Court’s self-proclaimed international character. On that occasion, it will be particularly shown that, while, on the surface, the Court stopped short of engaging with domestic courts, paying lip-service to their case-law, the PCIJ was inclined to freely interpret domestic law and actually operate as a municipal court itself. A few concluding and critical remarks are formulated, drawing on some analogies with the current dynamics in the practice of the International Court of Justice (hereafter the ICJ).

Keywords: Public International Law, International Adjudication, International Dispute Settlement, Permanent Court of International Justice, International Court of Justice, Arbitral Tribunals, Domestic Courts, Judicial Review, Dualism, Monism, Relation between legal orders, United Nations, Facts and Law

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

d'Aspremont, Jean, The Permanent Court of International Justice and Domestic Courts: A Variation in Roles (August 29, 2011). THE LASTING LEGACY OF THE PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE, Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Christian J. Tams, Panos Merkouris, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2012; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-21 ; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2011-09 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918775

Jean D'Aspremont (Contact Author)

Sciences Po Law School ( email )

13 rue de l'université
Paris, 75007
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.sciencespo.fr/ecole-de-droit/en/profile/daspremont-jean

University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M139PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Jean.daspremont/

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