The Contribution of International and Supranational Courts to the Rule of Law

The Contribution of International and Supranational Courts to the Rule of Law

Leuven Global Governance series

Edited by Geert De Baere and Jan Wouters

International and supranational courts are increasingly central to the development of a transnational rule of law. Except for insiders, the functioning and impact of these courts remain largely unknown. Addressing this gap, this innovative book examines the manner in which and the extent to which international courts and tribunals contribute to the rule of law at the national, regional, and international levels.

Chapter 1: Prologue: An overview of the contribution of international tribunals to the rule of law

Antônio Augusto CançadoTrindade

Subjects: law - academic, constitutional and administrative law, public international law, regulation and governance


The gradual realization – that we witness, and have the privilege to contribute to, nowadays – of the old ideal of justice at international level has been revitalizing itself, in recent years, with the reassuring creation and operation of the multiple contemporary international tribunals. This is a theme, proper of our times, which has definitively assumed a prominent place in the international agenda of this second decade of the twenty-first century. Since the visionary ideas and early writings of some decades ago, it was necessary to wait for some further decades for the current developments in the realization of international justice to take place, not without difficulties, now enriching and enhancing international law. It is a source of satisfaction to me to contribute, with this brief Prologue, to the present book The Contribution of International and Supranational Courts to the Rule of Law (eds Geert De Baere and Jan Wouters), a timely initiative of the Centre for Global Governance Studies of the Catholic University of Leuven. May I start by recalling that contemporary international tribunals have been contributing decisively to the consolidation of the expanded international jurisdiction, as well as to the assertion and consolidation of the international juridical personality and capacity of the human person, as subject, both active (before international human rights tribunals) and passive (before international criminal tribunals), of international law. They have, accordingly, granted access to international justice to a considerably greater number of justiciables, in the most distinct circumstances, all over the world.