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The Sword and the Scales


  • 4 b/w illus. 6 tables
  • Page extent: 492 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.82 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521407465)

The Sword and the Scales is the first in-depth and comprehensive study of attitudes and behaviors of the United States toward major international courts and tribunals, including the International Courts of Justice, WTO, and NAFTA dispute settlement systems; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; and all international criminal courts. Thirteen essays by American legal scholars map and analyze current and past patterns of promotion or opposition, use or neglect, of international judicial bodies by various branches of the United States government, suggesting a complex and deeply ambivalent relationship. The United States has been, and continues to be, not only a promoter of the various international courts and tribunals but also an active participant of the judicial system. It appears before some of the international judicial bodies frequently and supports more, both politically and financially. At the same time, it is less engaged than it could be, particularly given its strong rule of law foundations and its historical tradition of commitment to international law and its institutions.

• First ever in-depth and comprehensive study of attitudes and behaviors of the US towards all major international courts and tribunals • Contributions from 13 American experts of international courts, including the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Secretary of State • Contains the results of the first ever nationwide survey of the American public's attitudes toward international courts


1. International courts and tribunals and the rule of law John B. Bellinger, III; 2. American public opinion on international courts and tribunals Steven Kull and Clay Ramsay; 3. Arbitration and avoidance of war: the nineteenth century American vision Mary Ellen O'Connell; 4. The United States and the International Court of Justice: coping with antinomies Sean D. Murphy; 5. The U.S. Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice: what does 'respectful consideration' mean? Melissa A. Waters; 6. U.S. attitudes toward international criminal courts and tribunals John P. Cerone; 7. The United States and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Elizabeth A. H. Abi-Mershed; 8. From paradox to subsidiarity: the United States and human rights treaty bodies Tara J. Melish; 9. The U.S. and international claims and compensation bodies John R. Crook; 10. Does the U.S. support international tribunals? The case of the multilateral trade system Jeffrey L. Dunoff; 11. The United States and dispute settlement under the North American Free Trade Agreement: ambivalence, frustration and occasional defiance David A. Gantz; 12. Dispute settlement under NAFTA Chapter 11: a response to the critics in the United States Susan L. Karamanian; 13. The United States and international courts: getting the cost-benefit analysis right Cesare P. R. Romano.


'This volume is an important step in furthering … knowledge, and it is essential reading for students of international courts and United States foreign relations law, as well as policymakers who hope to strengthen (or weaken) international adjudication in any area of the law, including climate law.' Climate Law

'… is one of the first systematic treatments of the United States' engagement with international courts and tribunals. … This volume goes far … in helping to provide some answers.' Netherlands International Law Review


John B. Bellinger, III, Steven Kull, Clay Ramsay, Mary Ellen O'Connell, Sean D. Murphy, Melissa A. Waters, John P. Cerone, Elizabeth A. H. Abi-Mershed, Tara J. Melish, John R. Crook, Jeffrey L. Dunoff, David A. Gantz, Susan L. Karamanian, Cesare P. R. Romano

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