Exit from International Tribunals

12 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2018

See all articles by Joost Pauwelyn

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Rebecca J. Hamilton

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: July 20, 2018


This Commentary marks the first effort to provide a comprehensive overview of the attempts that States have made to exit international tribunals over the past decade. We identify the recurring drivers (and deterrents) of exit as well as the different outcomes that may result from exit pressure. In a time of growing populism, and its associated backlash against international law and courts in general, it is easy to lay the blame for tribunal exit at the feet of parochial national leaders. We conclude, however, that this represents an oversimplification of the exit story. As this Commentary suggests, changes at both the state and tribunal levels are fueling the push toward exit. State-centered drivers of populist ideology and the weight of sovereignty costs undoubtedly play a role. But tribunals need to take some share of the responsibility too.

Keywords: international tribunals, exit, Brexit, European Court of Human Rights, WTO, international criminal court, ISDS, populism, judicial activism, judicial bias, judicial appointments, sovereignty

Suggested Citation

Pauwelyn, Joost and Hamilton, Rebecca J., Exit from International Tribunals (July 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3224179 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3224179

Joost Pauwelyn (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch

Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Rebecca J. Hamilton

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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