PluriCourts Research Conference on Compliance Mechanisms

PluriCourts will hold a two day research conference on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 October to discuss the progress on the project “International Courts versus Compliance Mechanisms: Comparative advantages of non-compliance mechanisms and complaint procedures.”


The conference will be arranged as a hybrid solution, but due to practical reasons it will unfortunately not be possible with additional physical participants at the moment. However, it will be possible to attend by Zoom, so interested persons are welcomed to participate. Please contact the organizers listed at the bottom of the page for registration and Zoom link.


Many international treaties establish “in-house” mechanisms to facilitate implementation and promote compliance of parties. Some treaty regimes have particular complaints procedures and dispute resolution bodies to hear complaints by parties, private entities or affected non-party stakeholder, such as individuals and communities. Other have facilitative committees that aim to help parties to overcome implementation or compliance challenges.

Multilateral environmental treaties that include such non-compliance mechanisms (NCMs) are, for example, the Montreal Protocol, CITES, Rotterdam (PIC) Convention, Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocol under UNFCCC, Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and Nagoya Protocol under CBD, Minamata Convention London Protocol, or the UNECE Water Convention.

Also, human rights treaties have established complaint procedures to national human rights committees as well as individual communications under the human rights treaty bodies, such as the Human Rights Committee or the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Many other examples exist, such as the Inspection Panel of the World Bank and Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRM) for Investors in World Bank projects, and non-compliance mechanisms under arms control and disarmament treaties.

These mechanisms exist alongside other means of dispute resolution, for example through International Courts and Tribunals (ICTs). Yet, the functions of these mechanisms are in some cases overlapping with those of ICTs, ranging from clarifying obligations and providing authoritative interpretations, rendering advisory opinions, inquiring into Parties’ compliance challenges and providing suggestions for addressing them, to the resolution of disputes between parties.

In this project, we asks:

  • Whether and why in some circumstances the use of more informal NCMs might be more effective to bring states into compliance with their treaty obligations or address situations of non-compliance than the recourse to ICTs for breach of a treaty;
  • How NCMs and other means of dispute resolution, such as international courts, relate to each other; and
  • What their comparative advantages and disadvantages are.

The working hypothesis is that there is an “interest-outcome” conundrum: the broader the (legal) interest is shared among states (e.g. global public goods, common concerns), the less desirable is a particular result and the more relevant is (some ownership of the) process. For broadly shared interests, NCMs provide a “safer” avenue for states to address concerns than “independent ICs”.

The conference participants were selected from a call for papers with a deadline in June, 2021.


Day 1 – Wednesday October 27 

(Participation by Zoom = Z)

9:00 - 9:15  Welcome: Professor Christina Voigt 

9:15 - 10:45 Session 1: Conceptual issues

Chair: Professor Attila Tanzi – University of Bologna

10 minutes each presenter

Associate Professor Caroline Fosterz: The changing structure of international law and the implications for accountability and compliance mechanisms: Harnessing global regulatory standards

Professor Malgosia Fitzmauricez: Modern Compliance Mechanisms as an Independent New Phenomenon

Professor Laura Pineschiz: International Courts v. Compliance Mechanisms through the Lens of Gabcikovo-Nagymaros and Bystroe Canal Cases: Successes and Failures

Ph.D. candidate Carlos Cruz Carrillo: Advisory opinions in non-compliance mechanisms: architecture and opportunities

Discussion: 50 min

10:45 - 11:00 Break

11:00 - 12:30 Session 2: Environment and human rights

Chair: Professor Laura Pineschiz – University of Parma

10 minutes each presenter

Deputy Director General Felix Zaharia, Head of Strategic Environmental Assessment Vesna Kolar Planinšičz and Chairman of the Board, JCS, Romas Švedas: Effectiveness of the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee

Postdoctoral researcher Andreas Corcaci: Compliance with court and tribunal decisions in environmental disputes. Exploring a concept structural approach to dispute settlement beyond the nation state

Postdoctoral researcher Aysel Küçüksu: Rule 9 at the European Court of Human Rights: HRO Strategies for Ensuring Compliance in the Aftermath of an ECtHR Judgment

Postdoctoral researcher Yusra Suedi and Dr Justine Bendelz: State-to-State procedures before Compliance Committees: still alive?

Discussion: 50 min

12:30 - 13:45 Lunch Break – 7th floor, room 7224

13:45 - 15:15 Session 3: Environment

Chair: Gentian Zyberiz – Head of Department, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo

10 minutes each presenter

Dr Antonio Cardesa-Salzmannz: Compliance mechanisms in MEA, International Courts, and the “best-available-science” standard. Discussing the pros and cons against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement

Ph.D. candidate Elena Evangelidis: Legal Mobilisation for Biodiversity Protection: The Complementary Potential of the Bern’s case file system and the Court of Justice of the European Union

Ph.D. candidate Maria Antonia Tigre: Developing a Right to a Healthy Environment in LAC: Compliance through the Inter-American System and the Escazú Agreement

Dr Cristina Contartesez: The EU and its Member States before the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee: What contribution to the debate on the apportionment of their obligations?

Discussion: 50 min

15:15 - 15:30 Break

15:30 - 16:15 Session 4: Trade, finance and investment

Chair: Professor Makane Moïse Mbengue – University of Geneva 

10 minutes each presenter

Ph.D. candidate Jonathan Brosseau: How can the World Bank’s Dispute Resolution Services Benefit Affected Populations and Borrowing States?

Assistant Professor Imad Antoine Ibrahimz: Non-Compliance Mechanisms in International Water Law: Between the International Court of Justice and Arbitration Courts

Discussion: 25 min

15:15 - 15:30 Break 

18:00 - 20:00 Dinner at Din deli


Day 2 – Thursday October 28

(Participation by Zoom = Z)

9:45 - 9:50 Welcome: Professor Christina Voigt – University of Oslo

9:50 - 11:20 Session 1: Human rights

Chair: Associate Professor Lorenza Molaz – University of Turin

10 minutes each presenter

Research Fellow Noemi Magugliani and Senior Research Fellow Jean-Pierre Gauci: Exploring the role of judicial and quasi-judicial bodies’ decisions as determinants of anti-trafficking efforts

Associate Professor Alexander Solntsevz: The growing importance of human rights treaty bodies in environmental dispute resolution

Assistant Professor Andreas von Stadenz: On the (In)Significance of Legal Status: Comparing Compliance with the Decisions of the Regional Human Rights Courts and the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

Postdoctoral Researcher Samuel Whitez: Enforceable decisions and human rights treaty compliance: the UK experience

Discussion: 50 min

11:20 - 11:35 Break

11:35 - 13:05 Session 2: Criminal and international commercial/finance law

Chair: Professor Malgosia Fitzmauricez 

10 minutes each presenter

Associate Professor Leonardo Borlini: Treaty Monitoring and Compliance in International Criminal Law

Ph.D. candidate Ambroise Fahrner: The IMF surveillance as a compliance mechanism

Assistant Professor Wei-Chung Linz: The Reform of Independent Accountability Mechanisms after Jam v. IFC: Improving the Accountability of Multilateral Development Banks?

Associate Professor Mary Jude Cantorias-Marvelz: The South China Sea arbitration and the Philippines – navigating non-compliance mechanism strategies and pitfalls through the lens of Raya and the Last Dragon

Discussion: 50 min

13:05 - 14:15 Lunch beak – 7th floor, room 7227

14:15-15:45 Session 3: Cross-cutting issues

Chair: Professor Makane Moïse Mbengue – University of Geneva

10 minutes each presenter

Postdoctoral researcher Juan Pablo Perez-Leon-Acevedo and Diplomat and lecturer Jose Yepez-Castroz: Regional Compliance Mechanisms vis-à-vis Regional Courts: Latin America and Pandemics

Ph.D. candidate Jin Sun: How are Informal NCMs better than ICTs? Evidence from the Iran Nuclear Deal

Dr Rukmini Das: Enforcing compliance with science-based treaties – who should have the last word?

Associate Professor Kathleen Claussenz: Trade’s Enforcement/Compliance Conundrum

Discussion: 50 min

15:45 - 16:00 Break

16:00 - 17:30 Session 4

Chair: Professor Christina Voigt – University of Oslo

10 minutes each presenter

Postdoctoral researcher Maryna Rabinovych: Compliance Mechanisms in the EU “Development” and “Integration without Membership” Association Agreements: A Quest for Commitment and Ownership?

Researcher Débora Vieira Mankez and Ph.D. candidate Fabrizio Bon Vecchio: Non-Compliance Mechanisms in International Water Law: Between the International Court of Justice and Arbitration Courts

Professor Bashar Malkawiz: The Murky Nature of the “Phase One Deal” between the U.S. and China

Researcher Alice Fabrisz: Protecting cultural heritage in the event of an occupation: the compliance of the 1954 Hague Convention in the case of the Temple Preah Vihear

Discussion: 50 min

17:30 - 17:45 Concluding remarks: Professor Christina Voigt – University of Oslo



Christina Voigt
Even Espelid

About PluriCourts

PluriCourts is a multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence whose overriding research objective is to analyse and assess the legitimate present and future roles of the international judiciary in the global legal order. The PluriCourts' Research Plan is available here.

Published June 16, 2021 1:41 PM - Last modified Oct. 27, 2021 2:50 PM