The EJIL Foreword

Plurality in the Fabric of International Courts and Tribunals: The Threads of a Managerial Approach


Starting from the observation that there has long been – and continues to be – a preference for a plurality of international courts and tribunals, this article explores the emerging threads of a managerial approach in the fabric of international dispute settlement due to the increased number of fora in recent years. It argues that, while plurality remains the choice, both judges and states are actors in efforts to order this plurality as the need for judicial awareness and tools to organize jurisdiction has become more acute. In particular, judicial actors have woven common normative threads through various communicative practices and their approach to matters of procedure. Further, procedural mechanisms are being used to a greater extent to mitigate the risks of overlapping jurisdiction and parallel proceedings. In this respect, international economic law is serving as a laboratory for the development of these mechanisms. They include, among others, adapted versions of , or fork-in-the-road provisions. That said, similar threads of a managerial approach can be seen to be emerging beyond international economic law. Further reflection is needed on a creative means for ensuring coordination and coherence without compromising the preference for plurality.

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