The Emergence of a Common Law of International Adjudication against a Background of Proliferation
This chapter covers the proliferation of international courts and tribunals, and the perceived problem of fragmentation of international law. It first describes the proliferation of international judicial bodies. This has seen the creation of more than a dozen new international adjudicatory bodies in the past two decades. It then proposes possible reasons for the growth in the number of international courts and tribunals. The principal reasons include the erosion of the traditional reluctance to submit disputes to third-party adjudication, and the effects of globalization. It then turns to the effects of proliferation, and explains that it can cause increased jurisdictional competition (overlapping jurisdictions) among international courts and tribunals, and also the emergence of doctrinal inconsistencies in international law. This is particularly so, in light of international jurisprudence which suggests that international courts are ‘self-contained systems’. It then briefly reviews the International Law Commission's work on fragmentation.
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