The Control Over Knowledge by International Courts and Arbitral Tribunals

Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, Schultz, Thomas and Ortino, Federico (Eds), Oxford University Press, 2018, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jean d'Aspremont

Jean d'Aspremont

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

Date Written: September 9, 2017

Abstract

This chapter constitutes a heuristic exercise meant to re-imagine international courts and arbitral tribunals as bureaucratic bodies controlling the social reality created by the definitional categories of international law. It primarily claims that, in performing their wide variety of functions, international courts and arbitral tribunals, not only make use of the social reality created by international law, but also exert control over it. This control over the social reality created by the definitional categories of international law is approached as a form of control over knowledge and, it is argued, constitutes a feature of bureaucratic processes. In contending that international courts and arbitral tribunals control knowledge in this way, this chapter projects an image of international dispute resolution processes as bureaucratic sites where power is exercised. By virtue of this specific representation of international courts and arbitral tribunals as bureaucratic bodies controlling knowledge, this chapter challenges some common representations of international courts and arbitral tribunals as resorting to some pre-existing knowledge and accordingly sheds light on the extent to which international courts and arbitral tribunals define social reality and the problems in which they intervene. This chapter ultimately aims at providing new perspectives on the power exercised by international courts and arbitral tribunals, while also inviting international lawyers to reflect on the extent to which the knowledge they rely on to manage the world is controlled by international courts and arbitral tribunals.

Keywords: international law, international arbitration, international adjudication, international courts and tribunals, international dispute settlement, international bureaucracies, theory of knowledge, precedents, standard of proof, jurisdiction, applicable law, Foucault, Bourdieu

Suggested Citation

d'Aspremont, Jean, The Control Over Knowledge by International Courts and Arbitral Tribunals (September 9, 2017). Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, Schultz, Thomas and Ortino, Federico (Eds), Oxford University Press, 2018, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3034682

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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