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“Meždunarodnoe pravosudie” (International Justice) Journal

№ 1(21) 2017. Alexey Ispolinov. Compliance with the judgements of international courts: theory and practice

Alexey Ispolinov - Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, head of the Department of International Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2017-1-45-67

Abstract. In the present article, the author addresses the issues of compliance of the states with the judgments of various international courts’. Until recently, these issues did not attract much attention of law scholars. Viewing this issue as a part of more general problem of the states’ compliance with provisions of public international law, the author begins his research with a brief review of the leading schools of international law seeking to explain why in most cases comply states do with international law, whereas failing to do so on other not so often occasions. The author distinguishes between effectiveness of the international courts and states’ compliance, suggesting that compliance of the state with the international courts’ judgments should not be looked upon as unambiguous compliance or non-compliance, for the states’ actions most often lie between these two. Considering all of the above, the author concludes that the states initially admitted the potential non-compliance with the international courts’ judgments and included a relevant mechanism into the structure of the court to facilitate this process. Doing so, the states consider non-compliance to be one of the forms of ongoing state–court dialogue regarding the range of issues delegated by the states to the courts, as well as one of the instruments of post ante control of the states over the courts, regarding delegated powers including interpretation and application of public international law. Therefore, in international justice it would be more appropriate to expect the lowest acceptable level of compliance by the states for each specific court instead of presuming absolute compliance.

Keywords: compliance; international courts; delegation and control; interpretation and application of the international law.

Citation: Ispolinov A. (2017) Ispolnenie resheniy mezhdunarodnykh sudov: teoriya i praktika [Compliance with the judgments of international courts: theory and practice]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, no.1, pp.45–67. (In Russian).


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