Beyond Confrontation: International Law for the Post-Cold War Era

By Lori Fisler Damrosch; Gennady M. Danilenko et al. | Go to book overview
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10
Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Through the Rule of Law

David D. Caron and Galina Shinkaretskaya

The image that emerges from the preceding chapters is that of a new world order attempting to deal as effectively as possible with sources of conflict that are structurally embedded in the international community. But even as the international community attempts to ferret out these sources, we can be certain that disputes will continue to arise. Thus, a crucial element of this new world order remains the systematic peaceful settlement of disputes, so as to do justice to the parties and to avoid interruption of the new air of cooperation and all that cooperation offers for a better world.

This Chapter concentrates on the creation and maintenance of systematic peaceful settlement. In undertaking this task, it is important for the reader to recognize the context of this inquiry. First, our focus is for the most part instrumental; that is, the building and linking of institutions to ensure the existence of the rule of law at all levels of world legal order. Implementation of the rule of law will meet the expectations of what the international community regards as just, however, only if the rules themselves are regarded as just. Thus, it must be remembered that the working out of systems for the application of law, although necessary, is not necessarily sufficient fully to resolve international disputes. If the net results of the norms applied and the political initiatives surrounding such legal order do not truly root out the base of conflict, then the rule of law will be regarded by some as the maintenance of an unjust status quo. In a later discussion of transnational disputes, we observe, for example, how the mechanism of international commercial arbitration can resolve a dispute (for example, regarding foreign investment), thus obvi

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