International Courts and Tribunals and Violent Conflict
GCILS Working Paper Series, No. 3, September 2020
28 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 23, 2020
This chapter examines international adjudication and arbitration, assessing the diverse roles of international courts and tribunals (ICaTs) in relation to violent conflicts. It shows that, over time, ICaTs have come to render decision upon decision, but - contrary to the expectations of early arbitration movements - hardly ever prevent ‘wars between nations’. Their mandates have been expanded, but typically only cover aspects of violent conflicts. While such aspects are today increasingly submitted to arbitration or adjudication, ‘conflict litigation’ remains controversial and challenges the authority of ICaTs. As the chapter demonstrates, the significance of arbitration and adjudication over questions of violent conflict has varied over time and forms part of the general history of international dispute resolution. Having surveyed this general history, the chapter sketches out the evolving legal framework governing courts and conflicts. It discusses which aspects of violent conflicts are addressed by ICaTs under contemporary international law and highlights current challenges of ‘conflict litigation’.
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