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Prof. Andreas Zimmermann
Prof. Michael Zürn
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Berlin Potsdam Research Group
International Law - Rise or Decline?
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Germany
Tel: +49 (0)30 2093-3322
e-Mail: info(at)kfg-intlaw.de
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Institutions


In recent years, institutions beyond the State, in particular, international organizations and international courts and tribunals, have been perceived as critical elements in fostering the enforcement of international law and the international rule of law more generally. The Research Group will consider and analyze whether this perception continues to be a valid one in light of a quite dramatically changed international environment.

The Research Group will consider the current and future role of dispute settlement institutions, as well as that of international criminal courts within the international legal system. Has the perceived juridification of international relations already reached its peak - or has it even passed its culmination point? Are we thus facing a trend "backwards" towards more "traditional" State-oriented dispute settlement methods, such as negotiations? Are States becoming more reluctant to actively participate in international proceedings, and do they even start to challenge the legitimacy of international courts, even those the jurisdiction of which they had previously accepted? And what role will and can the ICC play in fostering the international rule of law in light of the challenges it is currently facing?

The Research Group will also consider comparable developments concerning international organizations, which may hint at similar challenges when it comes to the international rule of law. In particular, the Research Group will focus on the protection of individual rights vis-à-vis acts of international organizations, as well as on the question, whether international organizations abide by their own internal rules, those two issues being two particularly pertinent current examples at hand for the role international organizations may play when it comes to the international rule of law.

The Research Group will thus analyze, under this research perspective, which role international courts and tribunals and international organizations might play in the future international legal system. Will their role become more limited in coping with less important and merely technical issues only, while the more fundamental issues will again be solved by States themselves? Will international courts and international organizations themselves take this into account and become more sovereignty-oriented and State-centered?

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