Research Handbook on International Courts and Tribunals
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Research Handbook on International Courts and Tribunals

Edited by William A. Schabas and Shannonbrooke Murphy

This collection takes a thematic and interpretive, system-wide and inter-jurisdictional comparative approach to the debates and controversies related to the growth of international courts and tribunals. By providing a synthetic overview and critical analysis of these developments from a variety of perspectives, it both contextualizes and stimulates future research and practice in this rapidly developing field.
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Chapter 9: Jurisdiction

Luiz Eduardo Salles


Understanding the polysemic notion of jurisdiction has become more challenging as the number and types of international adjudicative entities has significantly increased. Moreover, the asymmetrical judicialization of international law structurally permits attempts at forum shopping, and forum shopping evokes jurisdictional competition. Therefore, understanding the concept of jurisdiction and the multiple potential configurations of jurisdictional relationships as avenues to mediate overlaps between international entities becomes important. Against this background, this chapter highlights the possibility of jurisdictional coordination based on the existence of explicit jurisdictional links between international tribunals, and also where the entities are autonomous and independent from one another. In order to do so, this chapter unfolds the concept of jurisdiction into a number of sub-concepts: adjudicatory jurisdiction, inherent jurisdiction and competence-competence, principal jurisdiction, incidental jurisdiction, and jurisdiction as opposed to admissibility. In addition, this chapter outlines basic models of relationships between international adjudicative bodies, namely: exclusiveness, preference, subsidiarity (or complementarity), bifurcation, aggregation and comity (or redundancy). KEYWORDS: international courts, international tribunals, jurisdiction, admissibility, jurisdictional organization, forum shopping

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