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Maria Varaki

The unpredictable rise, during the last 20 years, of international dispute settlement mechanisms opened the academic Pandora’s box for both the disciplines of international law and international relations. Academic interest focused on the evolution and transformation of the various international tribunals, their diverse functionality, the limits of judicialization contrary to the flexibility of diplomatic action, the role of the international courts and tribunals in promoting a liberal ideology of the rule of law, their judicial impact on the ground and their quest for legitimacy and effectiveness. This latter scholarship also raised the phenomenon of uneven judicialization, or otherwise the parallel emergence of over-judicialization in some fields and regions and the lack of any dispute settlement system or of limited use in other areas of transaction and regions. Within that existing framework, this contribution will attempt to provide a critical overview of the particular phenomena, while at the same time addressing the emerging voices and initiatives for new tribunals covering other fields and regions. The question to be answered will be on the need and consequences for further judicialization in the broader area of the rule of law. KEYWORDS: judicialization, unevenness, proliferation, adjudication, liberalism, rule of law