Mythic Courts

iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 214 (2020)

72 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2020

See all articles by José E. Alvarez

José E. Alvarez

New York University School of Law

Date Written: September 3, 2020


This essay critiques common rationales offered for establishing new global courts or tribunals to address terrorism, acts by ISIS, corruption, human trafficking, human rights abuses committed by states, businesses, and international organizations, and the rights of foreign investors. It argues that the three general rationales for these courts, including the International Investment Court that is most likely to be established - that they are needed to fill gaps in international law, to provide remedies or permit enforcement, and to harmonize or ‘de-fragment’ the law - are more Eurocentric myth than reality.

Keywords: New global court, terrorism, corruption, human rights, Internatiopnal Investment Court

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, José Enrique, Mythic Courts (September 3, 2020). iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 214 (2020), Available at SSRN: or

José Enrique Alvarez (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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