International Claims and Compensation Bodies
forthcoming in Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication, Cesare Romano, Karen Alter and Yuval Shany, eds., Oxford University Press, 2013
19 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2013 Last revised: 17 Jun 2014
Date Written: May 31, 2013
International claims and compensation bodies are a recurring and politically significant form of international adjudication. Sitting at the space between a terrible upheaval that shreds lives and relations and an unknown future, they recur because these spaces are regrettably common. They are politically significant because States often seek ways to settle the complaints resulting from such upheavals in order for their relations to renew, to go forward. Despite the great significance of these bodies for both international relations and the compensation of those harmed by the upheaval, the scholarly literature examining them is limited. Moreover, while international courts at large have attracted the attention of scholars outside the legal field, as this Handbook illustrates, literature on these commissions is still overwhelmingly legal, being mostly concerned with jurisprudence rather than institutional design. As a consequence, many fundamental questions await further investigation. Why are compensation commissions created in some instances and not others? Why are compensation commissions, rather than lump sum settlements, chosen? What factors drive the variations seen in the structures of such commissions, and what factors influence their effectiveness and operations? This chapter addresses this gap in literature. This chapter introduces claims commissions by discussing (1) the functions they play, and (2) the ways in which they differ both from international arbitration and international courts. The chapter then proceeds to consider (3) the factors that appear to affect the particular structures and claims processes of such commissions, and (4) their future trajectories.
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