Private Litigants and the New International Courts

Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 22-49, 2006

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 05-18

21 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2005

See all articles by Karen J. Alter

Karen J. Alter

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence

Abstract

Scholars expect International Courts (ICs) with private access and compulsory jurisdiction to be more independent and effective. This article shows a trend of creating and using ICs with compulsory jurisdiction and private access, using as evidence the founding statutes and usage rates of twenty ICs created since 1945. Analyzing where and for what private actors are granted access to ICs, I find that what is driving the expansion of private access and compulsory jurisdiction is an attempt to extend the types of juridical checks one finds at the domestic level to the international governance level. While this trend will likely lead to more rights claiming by private actors, limitations on the types of cases private actors can raise combined with a lack of usage suggests that outside of Europe private right claiming potentials have yet to be exploited.

Suggested Citation

Alter, Karen J., Private Litigants and the New International Courts. Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 22-49, 2006 ; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 05-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=820024

Karen J. Alter (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law - iCourts Center of Excellence ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

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