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Title: How international courts promote compliance : strategies beyond adjudication
Author: De Silva, Nicole
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 1880
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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In recent decades, international courts have proliferated the international system - a trend often referred to as the "judicialization" of international law and politics. States create international courts to promote greater compliance with international law, and have increasingly embedded these actors within various international regimes. Scholars have primarily analyzed the consequences of the judicialization trend based on international judges' authority for interpreting and applying international law, adjudicating international disputes, and rendering binding rulings. However, international courts, especially when conceptualized as international organizations, also perform a variety of activities beyond adjudication. This study theorizes international courts' agency, in both its judicial and non-judicial dimensions, to explain how international courts aim to influence actors' behaviour and promote greater compliance within their international legal regimes. As a foundation, it conceptualizes the various approaches through which international courts can promote compliance with international law, showing how international courts can appeal to actors' logics of consequences and appropriateness, either through their own agency or through using intermediary actors. An original dataset on the prevalence of these approaches across all twenty-three permanent international courts reveals significant variation in whether and how international courts have expanded their approaches for promoting compliance. International courts' level of autonomy influences their capacity for entrepreneurship and developing their approaches. Furthermore, their levels of acceptance and accessibility affect their adoption of particular approaches. Drawing on archival and interview research, ten case studies of a range of global and regional international courts, operating in a variety of issue areas and contexts, elucidate international courts' variable expansion of approaches based on these core variables. The study shows that international courts are dynamic and strategic actors, which address challenges and exploit opportunities to increase their influence and promote compliance within their international regimes.
Supervisor: Snidal, Duncan Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International courts ; International law ; Human rights ; Non-governmental organizations ; Justice ; Administration of