The Influence of the PCA in International Law Courts
American Society of International Law - The Fairmount Hotel
Confronting Complexity in the Hague: No city in the world evokes the peaceful resolution of international disputes like The Hague in The Netherlands. Since it hosted the 1899 Peace Conference which created the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague has become synonymous with international courts and tribunals. The International Court of Justice, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as well as the appeal chambers for the International Criminal Court for Rwanda are all headquartered in the Dutch city. More recently, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were added to the distinguished group. What does it mean for these institutions to sit in the same location? Does this facilitate dialogue? What are the advantages and disadvantages to centralizing these functions in a single location removed from the actual conflicts? Are there consequences for the development of international law that result from this proximity? Should there be? Should official or unofficial communications and discussion across courts, those who work for them, and those who appear before them be encouraged or discouraged? Would the establishment of seminars or study groups on specific legal topics of interest be beneficial to the work of these institutions? This Panel, whose members include Presidents of several judicial bodies sitting in The Hague, will address these and related issues to reflect on the role of The Hague as the judicial capital of the world. Which problems is international law particularly well-suited to solve? Which seem to defy its regulation? What tools does international law have to manage this complexity? Where are best practices emerging? What has our profession learned in the last half-century? Is law, with its emphasis on rules and stability, conceptually and functionally capable of responding to the challenges of complexity? If not, how should law react? What do experts from outside the legal profession, from technology, finance, counterinsurgency, climate science, and risk, believe law can add? During the 2012 ASIL Annual Meeting we will address these questions and discuss how international law responds to complexity."