LAWSG076 Law and Policy of International Courts and Tribunals

Credit value: 30 credits (15 ECTS, 300 learning hours)
Convenor: Martins Paparinskis
Other Teachers: Philippe Sands;
Ruth Mackenzie
Teaching Delivery: 20 x 2-hour weekly seminars, 10 seminars per term, Term One and Two
Who may enrol: LLM students only
Prerequisites: None
Must not be taken with: None
Qualifying module for: LLM in Human Rights Law;
LLM in International Law;
LLM in Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Introductory video
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay
Final Assessment: One 3-hour unseen written examination (100%)
Module Overview
Module summary:

This module deals with:

  • The requirements of general obligation under international law to settle disputes peacefully.
  • The historical evolution and contemporary understandings of the mechanisms available for dispute resolution enumerated in United Nations Charter Article 33: negotiation, inquiry; mediation; conciliation; arbitration; judicial settlement.
  • Legal and policy issues associated with the composition, functioning and powers of the permanent and ad hoc international courts and tribunals.
  • The respective advantages and disadvantages of these various mechanisms, the factors that influence their effectiveness.
  • The role and interests of the various disputants and interested third parties in proceedings before these mechanisms.
  • The place which these mechanisms have in the international legal order and their relationships to national bodies.
Module syllabus:

  1. Introduction. Historical background and Proliferation of ICTs
  2. Diplomatic processes for resolution of disputes
  3. Arbitration
  4. Appointment of international judges
  5. Independence and impartiality of international judiciary
  6. Jurisdiction I
  7. Jurisdiction II
  8. Applicable law
  9. Admissibility
  10. Representation of the parties
  11. Provisional measures
  12. Third party intervention
  13. Amicus curiae
  14. Evidence
  15. Powers of ICTs: Remedies and Implementation
  16. Interpretation, Appeal and Review
  17. Advisory opinions
  18. Relationship between international courts
  19. Nuremberg
  20. Review/revision
Recommended materials:

While there is no one textbook that covers all the material addressed in the module, there are four basic books now available that are recommended:

  • R. Mackenzie, C. Romano, Y. Shany and P. Sands, Manual of International Courts and Tribunals (2nd edition, OUP, 2010)
  • J. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement (Cambridge University Press, 4th ed. 2005)
  • J. Collier & V. Lowe, The Settlement of Disputes in International Law (Oxford University Press, 1999)
  • C. Romano, K. Alter and Y. Shany (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication (OUP, 2014)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment.

Preliminary reading: