Chapter 12: Dispute settlement
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The settlement of disputes is commonly seen as one of the principal function of modern international law. This chapter offers a structured overview of the analytical issues relating to the involvement of cities in international dispute settlement, which has itself taken a functionalist turn in recent decades. It is observed, first, that local authorities cannot bring claims against their own government. The focus then shifts to the possibilities, rare and largely unused, for them to become ‘directly’ involved in dispute settlement in certain domains. The subsequent section examines the role of local authorities in proceedings under EU and domestic law in cases raising questions of international law. Finally, the chapter addresses more commonly known yet likewise under-researched instances of ‘indirect’ participation of local authorities. The conclusion discusses what cities’ engagement with international dispute settlement tells us about international law as a field of practice and academic discipline more generally.

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