This chapter asks whether international courts and tribunals challenge or reinforce the distribution of international justice and, second, whether they achieve a transition from power-based to law-based international relations. It argues that actually international courts and tribunals are somewhat fetishized in the literature. They are burdened with high – often impossible – expectations. Their role, competences and capacity are often over inflated. International courts and tribunals do not simply challenge or reinforce the distribution of international justice – even the contention that they have a significant part to play in reviewing or determining this distribution exaggerates their role and their competences. This contention applies both to the procedural side of international justice – in terms of access to justice – and to the substantive side of international justice – the realization of substantive justice. The existing international legal order is characterized by radical and structural inequality in the distribution of international justice. International courts and tribunals are part of this international legal order and, therefore, from both institutional and political representation perspectives, are not in a position, and, at any rate, arguably, could not be in a position to challenge the existing order and bring about social or political change. KEYWORDS: international justice, global public goods, Rawls, cosmopolitanism, TWAIL.
The ticking bomb scenario and the focus on torture as a method of interrogation are ubiquitous in public and academic debate. It also continues to underpin policies of torture. This chapter shows how the ticking bomb hypothetical inhibits understanding of the practice of torture and how it neutralises the ideology of torture and facilitates its practice - torture is greeted as exceptional rather than understood as a continuous practice of violence. By exposing the ideology, it is possible to reveal the way in which the ticking bomb scenario serves as a more palatable proxy for the erasure of ‘political subjectivity’, and the creation of new political subjectivities, in the ‘war on terror’, in the Empire and in the metropole. Torture is not about information and is not a method of interrogation. Torture becomes about the subjugation, pacification or correction of those constructed as ‘not fully human’.