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International dispute resolution has increased dramatically in recent years, with the emergence of complex mechanisms for resolving disputes between states and between states and other actors, including international organisations, corporations, and persons. Older mechanisms, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) continue to play an important role in resolving key disputes. Through analysis of classic case law and doctrine, as well as recent cases, the student will acquire advanced knowledge of non-adjudicatory procedures (eg mediation), arbitration and judicial settlement in international law. Moreover, this course will explore specialised rules for resolving injury by States to foreign nationals, including foreign investors. The lecturer for this course has appeared before international courts and tribunals on behalf of numerous governments and private actors, has served as the United States agent to the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and is presently a professor of international law and member of the United Nations International Law Commission.
Principal topics include:
- The international obligation to settle disputes
- Non-adjudicatory procedures, such as negotiation, mediation, and conciliation
- International arbitration, including establishing the arbitral body, typical procedural rules, and salient problems
- The International Court of Justice, including its formation, contentious/advisory jurisdiction, and ancillary issues
- Other international courts and tribunals
- Remedying injury to aliens and foreign investors, including key substantive standards (national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment) and procedural rules (continuous nationality, exhaustion of local remedies)
- Contemporary cases of significance in this field.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be able to investigate, analyse, and critically reflect on the complex system of international dispute resolution, including the strengths and weaknesses of the system
- Acquire a strong foundation in the core elements by which international courts and tribunals are created and the typical procedural rules by which they operate
- Be conversant regarding key recent cases of the International Court of Justice, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and other tribunals
- Be highly knowledgeable about the types of treaties that are central to this field, including the statutes of pertinent tribunals, bilateral investment treaties, and treaties on enforcement of international arbitral awards
- Be equipped to apply knowledge about past practice in handling disputes concerning injury to aliens (including investors) to contemporary disputes
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the political dimension of international dispute resolution.
Last updated: 30 October 2020