This article explores whether international adjudication might constitute a global public good or a mechanism that produces such goods. The article’s key contribution is to differentiate between the functions that are served by international adjudicatory processes and to demonstrate that these produce distinct costs and benefits, some of which are privately held and others that are much more diffusely held and involve public goods problems. Even within the one adjudicatory function, such as dispute settlement or compliance monitoring, there is often a complex mix of privately held costs and benefits and far more diffusely felt effects. The global public goods framework sheds light on how these varied costs and benefits are generated by different sets of actors, ranging from all states that create and maintain a tribunal, and broader compliance-supporting constituencies, through to outputs that largely depend on the efforts of individual litigants. The functions served by adjudication, whose relationship to global public goods are analysed, are the peaceful settlement of disputes; the development of international law; and the monitoring of compliance with, and enforcement of, international norms. I also consider the potential of international adjudication to ensure accountability and due process within attempts to provide global public goods.
Bibliographical noteThe acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.
- LAW Centre for International Law
- LAW Centre for Global Law and Innovation