Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

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Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

Note: this entry is based on the article, authored by Alain Pellet, “Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes” of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law.

According to the celebrated definition by the (see this next term) Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) recited in a great many other judicial decisions (see a list of the case law of the world court in the (see this next term) International Court of Justice [ICJ] judgment of 10 February 2005 in the Certain Property Case [Liechtenstein v Germany] [Preliminary Objections] para 24; (see this next term) Certain Property Case [Liechtenstein v Germany]; see also Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo [New Application:2002] [Democratic Republic of the Congo v Rwanda] [Jurisdiction and Admissibility] para 90; (see this next term) Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo Cases; and Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea [Nicaragua v Honduras] para 130), contrary to a ‘situation’, which does not imply an existing difference of views between the persons concerned, ‘[a] dispute is a disagreement on a point of law or fact, a conflict of legal views or of interests between two persons’ (Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions [Greece v Great Britain] [Jurisdiction]; (see this next term)Mavrommatis Concessions Cases-as for the difference between both notions, see Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia [South West Africa] notwithstanding Security Council Resolution276 [1970] [Advisory Opinion] 23-24 para. 25; Arts 1 (1), 12 (1), 34, 35 (1), or 36 (1) UN Charter use both terms).

Traditionally, it was the sovereign prerogative of States to settle disputes between them through means they could freely choose, whether peaceful or not. With the progressive prohibition of the use of force ((see this next term) Use of Force, Prohibition of) in international relations, the peaceful settlement of international disputes has become the general rule, recourse to non-peaceful means being confined to the exceptional cases where the use of force remained lawful, that is: only in case of self-defence or when the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII UN Charter, authorizes or imposes an action involving the use of armed force to maintain or restore international peace and security (Art. 42 UN Charter).

Indisputably a legally binding obligation, the principle according to which international disputes must be peacefully settled is a flexible one in that while it imposes an obligation of behaviour to its addressees (see the Obligation of Peaceful Settlement of Disputes in this legal Encyclopedia), it leaves them free to choose the means for implementing it (see the Free Choice of the Means of Peaceful Settlement in this legal Encyclopedia).

Guide to the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

  • 1. Introduction to the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes
  • 2. Peaceful Resolution of Disputes Obligation, which comprises:
  • a. History of Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Obligation
  • b. Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Obligation Nature
  • c. Obligation of Peaceful Settlement Scope
  • d. Obligation of Peaceful Settlement Content
  • 3. Means of Peaceful Settlement of Disputes between states, which comprises:
  • a. Variety of Means of Peaceful Settlement
  • b. Institutionalization of the Peaceful Means of Settlement
  • c. History of the Peaceful Means of Settlement
  • d. Peaceful Settlement of Disputes in International Organizations
  • 4. Variety Use of Means of Peaceful Settlement
  • 5. European Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

References

See Also

Further Reading

  • The GATT/WTO dispute settlement system: international law, international organizations and dispute settlement (EU Petersmann – 1997)
  • International dispute settlement (JG Merrills – 2011)
  • The settlement of disputes in international law: institutions and procedures (JG Collier, V Lowe – 2000)
  • Standing your ground: Territorial disputes and international conflict (P Huth – 2009)
  • The settlement of boundary disputes in international law (AO Cukwurah – 1967)
  • Mediation in international relations: Multiple approaches to conflict management (JE Bercovitch, JZ Rubin – 1992)

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