iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 214

Mythic Courts

Professor Jose Alvarez

In this essay, Professor José E. Alvarez critiques common rationales offered for establishing new global courts or tribunals to address terrorism, acts by ISIS, corruption, human trafficking, human rights abuses committed by states, businesses, and international organizations, and the rights of foreign investors. He argues that the three general rationales for these courts, including the International Investment Court that is most likely to be established — that they are needed to fill gaps in international law, to provide remedies or permit enforcement, and to harmonize or ‘de-fragment’ the law — are more Eurocentric myth than reality.

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