2020 SAIL


Prof. Hamamoto Shotaro

Professor, Kyoto University

LL.B.(Kyoto), LL.M.(Kyoto), Docteur en droit (Paris II). Professor of the Law of International Organizations, Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University. Professeur invité, Université de Paris I (2009), Sciences Po de Paris (2012), Université de Strasbourg (2019). Professor, Hague Academy of International Law (2019). Co-Chair, Committee on Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals, International Law Association (2016- ). Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (2018- ). Member, Advisory Board, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (2019- ). Counsel for Botswana in Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius (ICJ, Advisory Opinion, 2018-2019); Counsel and Advocate for Japan in Whaling in the Antarctic (ICJ, Australia v. Japan, New Zealand intervening, 2010-2014), Hoshinmaru (ITLOS, Japan v. Russia, 2007), and Tomimaru (ITLOS, Japan v. Russia, 2007). Assistant for the Spanish Government in Fisheries Jurisdiction (ICJ, Spain v. Canada, 1997-98). Japanese Delegate to UNCITRAL (2010- ) and to the OECD Investment Committee (2011). His most recent publications in international dispute settlement include: “Peaceful Settlement of Disputes”, in Jorge E. Viñuales ed. The UN Friendly Relations Declaration at 50, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 72-86; “Legitimacy of International Adjudication” in Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (forthcoming).

Legitimacy of International Courts and Tribunals

In Breard, the ICJ indicated the provisional measures that the United States should take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Breard is not executed pending the final decision. In response, the Governor of Virginia issued a press statement: “I am concerned that to delay Mr. Breard’s execution so that the International Court of Justice may review this matter would have the practical eect of transferring responsibility from the courts of the Commonwealth and the United States to the International Court…. Indeed, the safety of those residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia is not the responsibility of the International Court of Justice. It is my responsibility and the responsibility of law enforcement and judicial ocials throughout the Commonwealth. I cannot cede such responsibility to the International Court of Justice.”

Following a series of judgments, such as Hirst v UK, rendered by the ECtHR finding that the blanket ban on the right of a convicted prisoner to vote imposed by UK law constituted a violation of Article 3 of the  Protocol (right to free elections), the UK House of Commons adopted a resolution declaring: “this House … of the opinion that legislative decisions of this nature should be a matter for democratically-elected lawmakers” in 2011. These are but a few examples of criticisms addressed to international courts and tribunals, covering various types of courts and tribunals: universal and regional, permanent and ad hoc, and general and specialized.

All put into question the legitimacy of international courts and tribunals. Discussions on the legitimacy of international adjudication are particularly relevant at a time when a certain number of States threaten to and actually do withdraw from international adjudication. This course examines dierent conceptions of legitimacy, elements of legitimacy of international courts and tribunals, and eects of contestation of legitimacy.