Our research topics

Pluricourts-modelInternational human rights TradeInternational criminal lawInternational investment lawInternational environmental lawResearch Topic 5: ModelsResearch Topic 1: The origins of ICTsResearch Topic 2: The Function of ICTsResearch Topic 3: The Effects of ICTsResearch Topic 4: Legitimacy Deficits?

PluriCourts studies the legitimacy of international courts and tribunals (ICs) from legal, political science and philosophical perspectives.

The number of ICs grows, as does concern about their legitimacy. Research at PluriCourts concerns the origins of ICs, how they function, and their effects. PluriCourts draws on these findings to assess the ICs by principles of legitimacy, and develops plausible, sustainable models for each IC and for their interaction.

To address these questions, PluriCourts focuses on five sectors of international law: Human Rights, Trade, Criminal Law, Investment, and Environment - where the latter lacks a judiciary.

Research plan

PluriCourts' research plan describes the scope and focus of the work at the Centre.

Research plan

A full list of our research topics and sectors

Human rights

PluriCourts studies the legitimacy of multi-level human rights International Courts and Tribunals at regional and international levels.


Why and how did states establish international court with a certain power in individual sectors - but not in others?


PluriCourts studies the various forms of dispute settlement under the World Trade Organization (WTO).


How do these independent bodies function: how are they composed and managed?

Criminal Law

PluriCourts seeks to identify lessons learned from comparative studies of International Criminal Tribunals through a multi-disciplinary evaluation to assess the legitimacy of these tribunals.


Do the courts contribute to solving the challenges they were established to handle?


PluriCourts’ researches the future design of International investment law, which has developed in a bilateral context since the end of the 1950s.


Do international courts suffer from a "legitimacy deficit"?


PluriCourts tracks the consequences of the absence of specialized courts in a field that turns to procedural mechanisms with judicial features to ensure compliance with environmental obligations.


What are the models for the further development of international courts?