Afterword: Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and Her Critics

Plurality as a Form of (Mis)management of International Dispute Settlement: Afterword to Laurence Boisson de Chazournes’ Foreword


In ‘Plurality in the Fabric of International Courts and Tribunals: The Threads of a Managerial Approach’, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes maps out the variety of legal doctrines and communicative devices that allow international courts to navigate the course of international dispute settlement in ways that avert serious jurisdictional or jurisprudential clashes between different international courts. This reply is largely supportive of Boisson de Chazournes’ account of an evolving judicial ‘managerial approach’. It questions, however, whether international courts are truly committed to a ‘managerial approach’ and whether such an approach is likely to succeed in the long run without a structural redesign of the ‘fabric of international dispute settlement’. Section 2 of the Afterword discusses jurisdictional plurality as a deliberate choice by states, which is likely to restrict the coherence of international law. Section 3 discusses the dilemmas facing international courts: the choice of a pro-coherence ‘management approach’ may conflict with other mandated functions, including providing the litigating parties with cost-effective dispute settlement services and supporting the particular needs of the legal regimes in which they are embedded. Section 4 concludes.