Aletta Mondré, Gerald Neubauer, Achim Helmedach, Bernhard Zangl
August 9, 2010
The international legalization process has triggered a debate over the scope of international law in which optimists assert the emergence of an international rule of law while skeptics doubt international legal norms effectively bind states. Some multilateral treaties include provisions on dispute resolution seeking to regulate state behavior. We introduce a framework to assess the judicialization of such dispute settlement procedures and corresponding state practices. In the issue areas of international trade (GATT/WTO), international security (UNSC), and environmental protection (CITES), we analyze state behavior in disputes arising from selected treaty norms and compare trends across time and issue areas. Our data reveals an uneven judicialization, which differs considerably between issue areas and also depends on whether states act as complainants or defendants. All in all, there is no uniform trend towards an international rule of law, but high judicialization in the trade sector only, with the environmental sector in midfield and security issues clearly lagging behind.