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Experiments in International Adjudication
Historical Accounts

Jorge E. Viñuales, Ignacio de la Rasilla, Inge Van Hulle, Jan Lemnitzer, Gerard Conway, Frédéric Mégret, Jean d'Aspremont, Cesare P. R. Romano, Andrei Mamolea, Freya Baetens, Donal Coffey, Angelo Junior Golia, Ludovic Hennebel, Morten Rasmussen
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  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108474948


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About the Authors
  • The history of international adjudication is all too often presented as a triumphalist narrative of normative and institutional progress that casts aside its uncomfortable memories, its darker legacies and its historical failures. In this narrative, the bulk of 'trials' and 'errors' is left in the dark, confined to oblivion or left for erudition to recall as a curiosity. Written by an interdisciplinary group of lawyers, historians and social scientists, this volume relies on the rich and largely unexplored archive of institutional and legal experimentation since the late nineteenth century to shed new light on the history of international adjudication. It combines contextual accounts of failed, or aborted, as well as of 'successful' experiments to clarify our understanding of the past and present of international adjudication.

    • Provides an accessible entry point to several experiments in international adjudication and revisits forgotten or understudied institutional experiments, the 'trials' and 'errors' rather than the success stories of international adjudication
    • Examines experiments in a specific context and shows that the roots of several major developments are to be found in little-known experiments
    • Contributes to the growing body of research on the history of international adjudication and, more broadly, the history of international law
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Experiments in International Adjudication is a treasure. Recovering successful and failed efforts at international adjudication in the nineteenth and twentieth century, spanning Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, a stellar group of scholars considers why history does and does not remember or build on early efforts at international adjudication. Beyond explicating little known international adjudication experiments, we learn of the forces working for and against generalizing these experiments so as to lay the groundwork for constructing an international judiciary capable of resolving trans-border disputes and generating state responsibility and accountability to international law.' Karen J. Alter, Northwestern University and iCourts

    'Experiments in International Adjudication is an overdue and necessary complement to the burgeoning research on international courts and tribunals. The authors, outstanding experts, have shed light on so far unknown institutions, facets of seemingly familiar ones, and show how many of the 'experiments' failed, while others led to unforeseen results. This book fills a gap and will stimulate further investigations on the histories and functions, problems and potentials of eminently important institutions in international law and relations.' Anne Peters, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Freie Universität Berlin and William C. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan

    'This collection of fascinating essays on instances and experiments in international adjudication from the last two centuries significantly thickens the narrative of the historical emergence of present-day international courts and tribunals. By delving into the rich histories of failed or unfinished experiments with arbitral and judicial dispute settlement between states, the book shows that the recent proliferation and diversification of international adjudication has deep historical roots and that the disruptive effects these variations are often perceived to have on international law as a system, may actually be crucial to its endurance.' Randall Lesaffer, Tilburg University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    'Experiments in International Adjudication is a very welcome addition to the already large literature on international courts and tribunals. But different from most other books, this volume reveals the story of little-known experiments of international adjudication. Thereby, it enriches our understanding in a multitude of ways and makes us rethink what really works in terms of international adjudication. Written by a set of understanding scholars, this book is a little treasure trove that should be read by anyone with an interest in the history of international law.' Mikael Rask Madsen, Director of iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108474948
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. International Adjudication – An Ever-Present History:
    1. Experiments in international adjudication – past and present Jorge E. Viñuales
    2. The turn to the history of international adjudication Ignacio de la Rasilla
    Part II. Experiments in Dispute-Specific Adjudication:
    3. Imperial consolidation through arbitration: territorial and boundary disputes In Africa (1870–1914) Inge Van Hulle
    4. How to prevent a war and alienate lawyers – the peculiar case of the 1905 North Sea Incident Commission Jan Lemnitzer
    5. The Arbitral tribunal for Upper Silesia: an early success in international adjudication Gerard Conway
    Part III. Context-Specific Redress Mechanisms:
    6. Mixed claim commissions and the once centrality of the protection of aliens Frédéric Mégret
    7. The general claims commission (Mexico and the United States) and the invention of international responsibility Jean d'Aspremont
    8. Mirage in the desert: regional judicialization in the Arab world Cesare P. R. Romano
    Part IV. The Quest for a Permanent Court:
    9. Saving face: the political work of the permanent court of arbitration (1902–1914) Andrei Mamolea
    10. First to rise and first to fall: the Court of Cartago (1907–1918) Freya Baetens
    11. The failure of the 1930 tribunal of the British Commonwealth of Nations: a conflict between international and constitutional law Donal Coffey
    Part V. Experiments in specialised courts:
    12. The intellectual foundations of the European Court of Human Rights Angelo Junior Golia and Ludovic Hennebel
    13. From international law to a constitutionalist dream? The history of European law and the European Court of Justice, 1950–1993 Morten Rasmussen.

  • Editors

    Ignacio de la Rasilla, Wuhan University Institute of International Law, China
    Ignacio de la Rasilla is the Han Depei Professor of International Law at the Wuhan University Institute of International Law, China. He was educated in Spain (LL.B. from Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Switzerland (M.A. and Ph.D from The Graduate Institute, Geneva), the United States of America (LL.M. from Harvard University) and Northern Italy (Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence). Previously he served as Lecturer and, then, as Senior Lecturer in Law at Brunel University London and adjunct professor at New York University, La Pietra, Florence. He is the author of around sixty journal articles and book chapters, and the author or editor of five books on international law and its history, including In the Shadow of Vitoria: A History of International Law in Spain, 1770–1953 (2017).

    Jorge E. Viñuales, University of Cambridge
    Jorge E. Viñuales is the Harold Samuel Professor of Law and Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge, where he founded the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG). He is also the Chairman of the Compliance Committee of the UN-ECE/WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health, a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre, the Director-General of the Latin American Society of International Law, and an Of Counsel with Lalive. Prior to joining Cambridge, he was the Pictet Chair of International Environmental Law at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, where he keeps a limited affiliation as Adjunct Professor of Public International Law.


    Jorge E. Viñuales, Ignacio de la Rasilla, Inge Van Hulle, Jan Lemnitzer, Gerard Conway, Frédéric Mégret, Jean d'Aspremont, Cesare P. R. Romano, Andrei Mamolea, Freya Baetens, Donal Coffey, Angelo Junior Golia, Ludovic Hennebel, Morten Rasmussen

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