Midway Assessment: The Use of Scholarship by International Courts and Tribunals by Sondre Torp Helmersen

PhD candidate Sondre Torp Helmersen at the Department of Public and International Law is presenting his  doctorate project "The Use of Scholarship by International Courts and Tribunals" on Thursday January 14th.

Bilde av Sondre Torp Helmersen

PhD candidate Sondre Torp Helmersen

Photo: UiO

Commentator:

  • Professor Joost Pauwelyn

Leader of the assessment:

  • Head of Department Ulf Stridbeck

Supervisor:

  • Professor Geir Ulfstein
  • Senior Lecturer Michael Waibel

For outline and draft text, contact Sondre Torp Helmersen

The Use of Scholarship by International Courts and Tribunals

The aim of the project is to examine the use of scholarship by international courts and tribunals, and what this use may reveal about the status and function of scholarship in international law.

So far in the project the decisions of four courts and tribunals have been examined: The International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body.

The results are divided into two groups:

1. The impact of scholarship on specific questions of international law

2. The broader functions of scholarship in the international legal system

The thesis first gives a definition of scholarship. In general terms I define scholarship as texts about law (as opposed to facts) that are not produced by States or intergovernmental organisations or by courts or tribunals.

Moreover the thesis discusses the legal framework surrounding the use of scholarship in international law. An interesting question in this context is whether or to what extent the impact of scholarship on specific legal questions is regulated by law.

In terms of results, the impact of scholarship on specific legal questions seems to be low, but also to vary between different works based on identifiable factors.

The functions of scholarship in the international legal system are found to be more significant than its impact on specific legal questions, and include communication, persuasion, and improvement.

Published Aug. 10, 2016 10:15 AM - Last modified Apr. 3, 2017 11:57 AM