Pragmatism in International Law: Non-State Actor Participation in International Dispute Settlement
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL SYSTEM. MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES ON NON-STATE ACTORS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, p. 342, J. d’Aspremont, ed., Routledge, May 2011
16 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 27, 2011
Recent decades have seen a significant increase in the number of legal dispute settlement mechanisms charged with settling disputes based on international law. The most important, but often overlooked reality within this evolution however is that at the same time several of these mechanisms have been tasked not with settling interstate disputes, but rather ‘mixed’ disputes involving a state and a non-state actor, mainly individuals and corporations. The majority of the internationally settled disputes today thus concern mixed rather than interstate disputes. Besides the participation of non-state actors as parties to international disputes, the proliferation of dispute settlement mechanisms has equally weathered the increased involvement of non-state actors as third parties in dispute settlement procedures. Especially nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have benefited from the proliferation of legal dispute settlement mechanisms to gain access to these forums, often as ‘friends of the court’. But non-State actors have not only been acting as parties or third parties in international disputes. They have been engaged in facilitating the settlement of disputes through diplomatic of legal mechanism as well.
Keywords: dispute settlement, non-state actors, NGO, amicus curiae, investment law
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