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Realizing UtopiaThe Future of International Law$
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The Late Antonio Cassese

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.001.0001

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The Low Road: Promoting Civil Redress for International Wrongs

The Low Road: Promoting Civil Redress for International Wrongs

Chapter:
(p.626) 47 The Low Road: Promoting Civil Redress for International Wrongs
Source:
Realizing Utopia
Author(s):

Jaykumar A. Menon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.003.0047

International law lacks muscle or, in other words, enforcement power; bones, that is, institutional infrastructure and capacity; and even heart, namely, the capacity to face up to some of the largest issues of our times. Civil litigation in domestic courts offers tremendous potential for redressing international wrongs, loosely defined to be of two types: cross-border matters; these can be addressed either by applying rules of international law, or solely through domestic laws as applied across borders and acts that take place strictly domestically but that nonetheless violate international law, even if their physical aspects are limited to a small inquisition room. Measures designed to improve upon the present conditions include: existing educational efforts for current and future practising lawyers should be increased, and also broadened to include legislators and judges; the collection of evidence in one country for use in litigation in another should be facilitated; and heads of jurisdiction should be broadened: for instance, often the jurisdictional peg is presence of the defendant's offices or person within the forum; property, however, can be an alternate base of jurisdiction.

Keywords:   international law, enforcement, civil litigation, cross-border matters

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