International Peace and Security

peaceAt least since the time of Immanuel Kant, many of the great architects of the international system have conceived of international courts as the linchpin of a peaceful world order. Some have pointed to the fact that when countries know they can seek legal recourse for perceived wrongs, they are less likely to resort to the use of force. Others have noted that states are less inclined to act out militarily when such behavior would place them in defiance of authoritative legal rulings around which the international community can mobilize. Overall, there has been general agreement that disputes that are likely to lead to violence, and sometimes cataclysmic wars, could be proactively resolved by a clear judicial ruling when they first arise.

At present, limitations on jurisdiction often prevent international tribunals generally, and the International Court of Justice in particular, from playing a role in war prevention. The advent of Referral Jurisdiction would correct for this limitation by routinely allowing states to secure advisory judgments on potentially dangerous disputes.

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