Table of Contents

The Political Economy of International Law

The Political Economy of International Law

A European Perspective

Edited by Alberta Fabbricotti

Set in the context of growing interdisciplinarity in legal research, The Political Economy of International Law: A European Perspective provides a much-needed systematic and coherent review of the interactions between Political Economy and International Law. The book reflects the need felt by international lawyers to open their traditional frontiers to insights from other disciplines - and political economy in particular. The methodological approach of the book is to take the traditional list of topics for a general treatise of international law, and to systematically incorporate insights from political economy to each.

Chapter 9: The Political Economy of Judicial Production of International Law

Paul B. Stephan

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, law - academic, european law, public international law, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, international relations, political economy


This Chapter treats the design of judicial mechanisms (international courts, domestic courts, arbitral tribunals and the like) as variables that are intended to and do affect the output of these courts, particularly the scale and scope of claims about international law. It looks at the selection process for tribunal members, the terms of reference given to the tribunal, and the post-adjudication retention constraints on members, such as length of term and non-reappointment. To test this claim, the Chapter focuses on six case histories of instances where judicial mechanisms have diverged about the content of international law, in some instances within a single overarching case. The case histories both illustrate and are consistent with four conjectures about the effect of variation in design on the content of the product of international adjudication: national courts will demonstrate great variation; the responsiveness of international tribunals to State interests will reflect these design features; regional tribunals will reflect particular regional interests to a greater extent than will broad-based multilateral tribunals; and special purpose tribunals will tend to expand their jurisdiction, which is to say the scope of the claims they make about international law, to a greater extent than will broad-based multilateral tribunals.

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