The enforcement of international judicial and arbitral decisions

International_Peace_Day_logoThe meeting opened with the moderator, Cabactulan, mentioning that there is an increase in international peace and security amongst international communities. Professor Murphy discussed the seven trends in interstate judicial and arbitral decisions. The first trend is the increase/resurgence in court and tribunal decisions (case law) during the post cold war era. The second trend recognizes that investment disputes are now dealt with private investors bringing claims against opposing states themselves. Instead of the investor’s state getting involved and dealing with interstate arbitration, the investors are making the claims and taking pressure off of government officials.

The third trend displays, the continuance of states’ compliance with interstate judicial and arbitral decisions. Professor Murphy stated that most states care about and believe in the law. So, although a state may not like a ruling, the state will usually respect it. Murphy provides the counterpoint that some courts might influence their own decisions to appease both states involved, to ensure compliance. The fourth trend exposes the abandoned use of the Security Council to enforce judicial or arbitral decisions. The council only has the power to agree with a judgment; they cannot enforce one legally. The fifth trend demonstrates the abandonment of using the International Court of Justice to enforce arbitral decisions. Following, the sixth trend outlines the continuing impediments of enforcing rulings made by international courts and the potential of involving national courts.

The last trend focuses on the increased use of countermeasures to induce compliance. A countermeasure is when a wrongful act is committed by a state, but it’s excused because the other state did something wrong in the first place. The professor concluded that the steady level of compliance in interstate judgments has exerted less stress on governments. When states fail to comply with a ruling or award, there has been more reliance on unilateral self-help.

Meeting: “The enforcement of international judicial and arbitral decisions” (organized by the Permanent Mission of the Philippines)
Date: October 29th, 2014
Location: Conference Room 6, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law Sean David Murphy, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines Libran N. Cabactulan, Philippines Representative Eduardo A. De Vega, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines Irene Susan Navtivdad, and Philippines Representative Acting Director of the Office of Legal Affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs Igor G. Bailen.
Written By WIT Representatives: Ellie Guner and Paige Stokols

Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

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