Books Developments in PIL Scholarship

Kessedjian on Neutrals in International Law

ThCollected Coursese general course that Catherine Kessedjian (University of Paris II – Panthéon Assas) gave at the Hague Academy of International Law in January 2019 on Neutrals in International Law – Judges, Arbitrators, Mediators, Conciliators (Le tiers impartial et indépendant en droit international, juge, arbitre, médiateur, conciliateur) has been published in the Collected courses of the Academy.

The course is written in French, but the author has provided the following English abstract:

At a time when the role of adjudicators and neutrals is criticized in domestic as well as international law, it seemed a good idea to explore the characteristics of the women and men who participate in the act of justice, and their methods of working, either as judges, arbitrators, mediators or conciliators.

The goal of the lectures was to call the students’ attention to the fact that judicial decisions are not the only way neutrals speak to the larger public and us, legal specialists. There are many other ways that are pertinent for exploration in order to better understand how justice is rendered in international law.

International law is to be understood in the broad sense as covering both public international law and private international law. Indeed the lectures were given as the general course of the inaugural winter session of the Academy entitled “international law” and conceived as a departure from the classic dichotomy still pertinent for the summer session.

The lectures, therefore, endeavor to explore the common characteristics of all neutrals and those that may be more specifics for any of the sub categories.

Among all the topics that could have been chosen to reach the goal we had set for ourselves, only a few were indeed included in the lecture i.e. : theory of law; history; the special role of mediators and of domestic judges; architecture; allegories of justice; the personality of neutrals; impartiality; jurisdiction; cooperation and more.

Finally, it is to be noted that these are the first Hague lectures reproducing images to help the discussion. In a world where images are omnipresent, we are convinced that they contribute to a better understanding of the topics and facilitate memory to concentrate on some of the more potent messages these lectures want to convey. Several testimony of that method have been reported in the lectures themselves.

Kessedjian Cours de la Haye
Caricature created by A. Senegacnik for Ch. 14 of C. Kessedjian’s Lectures,
Reproduced with the kind permission of the artist

The full table of contents of the Lectures can be found here.