NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Vol. 31 (1999)

Foreword: Is the Proliferation of International Courts and Tribunals a Systemic Problem?

Benedict Kingsbury

Read PDFRead PDF
The rapid proliferation of international courts and tribunals, and the increased activity of many of them, pose numerous practical problems, and stimulate reflection on conceptual questions that have come to seem more pressing because of their immediate implications for practice. This issue of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP) has its origins in a symposium convened at NYU Law School in October 1998 to consider the implications of this recent proliferation. The symposium was organized jointly by the Law School, with the support of the Global Law School Program, and the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT) , itself a joint venture between NYU’s Center on International Cooperation and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development in London. PICT is a substantial research enterprise concerned both with improving knowledge of, access to, and the effective running of international adjudicative bodies, and with critical study of issues ranging from lis pendens and amicus briefs to conflicts of jurisdiction and the com position and appointment of the international judiciary. 1 The symposium proved very rich and challenging, but its format was discussion rather than set piece papers. Having attended the symposium, the student editors of JILP decided
that publication would be valuable for others working on these important themes, despite the heterodox nature of the materials available, and they have worked tirelessly to bring this issue to fruition, encompassing as it does a range from very substantial papers to summaries of succinct spoken presentations. The resulting collection is not a complete treatment, but it provides both a useful primer to, and the views of some distinguished international lawyers upon, a selection of the major issues arising for international lawyers from the proliferation of international tribunals.