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Shany, Yuval (2001) Competing Jurisdictions of International Courts and Tribunals: Which Rules Govern? PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Recent years have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of international courts and tribunals and greater willingness on the part of states and other international actors to subject themselves to the compulsory jurisdiction of international adjudicative mechanisms. However, because of the uncoordinated nature of these developments, overlaps between the jurisdictional ambits of the different judicial bodies might occur - i.e., the same dispute could fall under the jurisdiction of more than one forum. This, in turn, raises the question of coordinating between the competing jurisdictions, with a view of promoting the smooth operation of international law and safeguarding the rights and interests of the disputing parties. The purpose of the thesis is to study the implications of jurisdictional competition and to identify standards which may alleviate problems associated with the phenomenon. The first part of the thesis examines the jurisdictional ambits of the principal international courts and tribunals and delineates areas of overlap between their respective jurisdictions. It reveals considerable overlaps, which have already resulted, on occasion, in multiple proceedings. The second part discusses some of the potential systematic and practical problems that arise out of jurisdictional competition (e.g., forum shopping and multiple proceedings) and considers the expediency of mitigating them. Finally, the third part identifies and studies existing rules of international law, which govern inter-jurisdictional competition, and considers the introduction of additional norms and arrangements (e.g., the lis alibi pendens rule and the abuse of rights and comity doctrines). The central conclusion of the thesis is that jurisdictional competition, while positive in some ways, ought to be mitigated, or else it could undermine the coherence of the international legal system. Although existing rules regulate some aspects of inter-fora competition, additional rules are needed in order to preserve and improve the harmonisation of the international legal system.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:37

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