PluriCourts Lunch Seminar: Framing International Judicial Power through the Practice of Domestic Courts

Wednesday Lunch Seminar with Assistant Professor of Public International Law Brian McGarry.

Illustration photo of a club with books in the background.

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Assistant Professor Brian McGarry will present his paper "Framing International Judicial Power through the Practice of Domestic Courts".

From where do the powers of international courts and tribunals emerge, if not from express and specific conferral by contracting parties? The exercise of international judicial power in the absence of such clarity is at the root of institutional demise and recent reform efforts across the spectrum of international dispute settlement.  In this light, this presentation makes the case for a formalist understanding of international judicial power — as a defiantly non-mystical question of applicable law, derived from voluntarist sources. After considering how “unstated” judicial powers may derive from treaties and customary international law, this author highlights the empirical methods and recent findings of a comparative survey of domestic courts, through Leiden University’s Tracing Inherent Powers research initiative. In particular, he considers whether such practice may give rise to applicable "general principles" regarding judicial power, and queries how States' familiarity with specific judicial powers might inform the interpretation of silence in the constitutive treaties which they have negotiated.

Brian McGarry is Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University), and Visiting Professor at Sciences Po Law School in Paris. Dr. McGarry was previously Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and Visiting Scholar at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (Cambridge University). He primarily researches international institutions and dispute settlement, and serves as Principal Investigator for Leiden University's Tracing Inherent Powers project. His first monograph, Intervening in International Justice, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

Published Sep. 14, 2021 1:15 PM - Last modified Oct. 13, 2021 2:35 PM