Since the end of the Cold War there has been an explosion of international courts and tribunals that sit apart from domestic legal systems, yet they are often woefully inadequate for their stated purposes. This book explores common problems across these courts, and applies a constructivist theory of international relations to explain their operation. Often established by states as signals of their commitment to moral values and political ideology, once created these courts find themselves trapped between the interests of the Great Powers. Some endure irrelevance, their judgements ignored. Yet more are unusably slow. Still others exhibit demonstrable political bias. Their common failings suggest that international law is not nearly as robust as it claims. The author skilfully shows that international courts are a species of international organisation, and share the same challenges of bureaucracy and unaccountability as have plagued the United Nations. Mirages of International Justice will be of particular interest to scholars and practitioners interested in critiques of the European Court of Human Rights, the World Trade Organisation, investment treaty arbitration, the EU courts, the international criminal courts, the International Court of Justice and public international law in general. Students of international relations and advocates for reform of international organisations will also learn much from this insightful study.
Matthew Parish is a lawyer and scholar of international relations. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland. He formerly worked at the World Bank in Washington, DC and spent two and a half years employed by the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he was involved in the international community's post-war peacekeeping mission. This was by far the most unusual and fulfilling experience of his professional career.
Matthew continues to be a well-known journalist and commentator on regional affairs in the western Balkans. He also writes about the effects of international law upon the modern world. Although his work is mostly academic, he is also planning a novel.
For more information visit www.matthewparish.com.