The Multiple Roles of International Courts and Tribunals: Enforcement, Dispute Settlement, Constitutional and Administrative Review

International Law and International Relations: Synthesizing Insights from Interdisciplinary Scholarship, Jeffrey L. Dunoff and Mark A. Pollack, eds., 2013

Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 12-10

27 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2012

See all articles by Karen J. Alter

Karen J. Alter

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence

Date Written: July 19, 2012

Abstract

This chapter is part of an upcoming interdisciplinary volume on international law and politics. The chapter defines four judicial roles states have delegated to international courts (ICs) and documents the delegation of dispute settlement, administrative review, enforcement and constitutional review jurisdiction to ICs based on a coding of legal instruments defining the jurisdiction of 25 ICs. I show how the design of ICs varies by judicial role and argue that the delegation of multiple roles to ICs helps explain the shift in IC design to include compulsory jurisdiction and access for nonstate actors to initiate litigation. I am interested in the multiple roles ICs play because they allow us to appreciate the many different contributions ICs make to international politics. ICs do oversee state compliance with international agreements, but this is not all they do. Finally, I explain the relevance of this analysis for two prevalent debates regarding ICs; 1) whether we should conceive of ICs as Agents or Trustees and 2) whether compulsory jurisdiction and private litigant access for ICs inherently features undermine national sovereignty.

Keywords: International Law, International Courts

JEL Classification: K33, K42

Suggested Citation

Alter, Karen J., The Multiple Roles of International Courts and Tribunals: Enforcement, Dispute Settlement, Constitutional and Administrative Review (July 19, 2012). International Law and International Relations: Synthesizing Insights from Interdisciplinary Scholarship, Jeffrey L. Dunoff and Mark A. Pollack, eds., 2013; Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 12-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2114310

Karen J. Alter (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

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