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International Law in Domestic Courts: Rule of Law Reform in Post-Conflict States

Book | 1st edition 2012 | World | Edda Kristjansdottir, André Nollkaemper, Cedric Ryngaert

States that are in transition after a violent conflict or an authoritarian past face daunting challenges in (re)establishing the rule of law. This volume examines in detail attempts that were made in certain significant post-conflict or post-authoritarian situations to strengthen the domestic rule of law with the aid of international law. Attention is paid in particular to the empowerment of domestic courts in such situations. International law may serve these courts as a tool for reconciling the demands for new rights and responsibilities with due process and other rule of law requirements.

The volume contains case studies of the role of domestic courts in various post-conflict and transitional situations (Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, East Timor, Russia, South Africa, and Rwanda). Each of these case studies seeks to answer questions relating to the exact constitutional moment empowering domestic courts to apply international law, the range of international legal norms that are applied, the involvement of international actors in bringing about change, the contextualization of international legal norms in states in transition, tension within such states as a result of the application of international law, and the legacy of domestic courts’ empowerment in terms of durable rule of law entrenchment.

About the editors
Edda Kristjansdottir, member of the Faculty of Public International Law, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam.
André Nollkaemper, Professor of Public International Law, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam.
Cedric Ryngaert, Assistant Professor of International Law, Leuven University; Associate Professor of International Law, Utrecht University.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781780680415 / 9781839700729
Series name Series on Transitional Justice
Weight 713 g
Status Available
Number of pages xiv + 336 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Feb 22, 2012
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
    Edda Kristjansdottir, André Nollkaemper, Cedric Ryngaert
  • Lost in Transition? Domestic Courts, International Law and Rule of Law ‘À la Carte’
    Stéphane Beaulac
  • International Law in the Russian Courts in Transitional Situations
    Sergei Yu. Marochkin
  • Thickening the Rule of Law in Transition: The Constitutional Entrenchment of Economic and Social Rights in South Africa
    Evelyne Schmid
  • Judicial Activism and the Use of International Law as Gap-Filler in Domestic Law: The Case of Forced Disappearances Committed During the Armed Conflict in Nepal
    Rishikesh Wagle
  • International Law and Iraqi Courts
    Haider Ala Hamoudi
  • Constitutionalism without Governance: International Standards in the Afghan Legal System
    Ebrahim Afsah
  • Understandings of International Law in Rwanda: A Contextual Approach
    Nicola Palmer
  • Virtuous Flexibility. The Application of International Human Rights Norms by the Bosnian Human Rights Chamber
    Antoine Buyse
  • War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Seeding “International Standards of Justice”?
    Katerina Uhlirova
  • Prosecution of War Crimes in Bosnian Cantonal and District Courts: the Role of the Rule of Law
    Sanja Popovic
  • War Crimes Prosecution in a Post-Conflict Era and a Pluralism of Jurisdictions: the Experience of the Belgrade War Crimes Chamber
    Sharon Weill, Ivan Jovanovic
  • The Treatment of Occupation Legislation by Courts in Liberated Territories
    Eyal Benvenisti, Michal Saliternik
  • The Use and Abuse of International Law: Choice of Applicable Criminal Law in Post-Conflict East Timor
    Yael Ronen
  • Concluding Observations
    Edda Kristjansdottir, André Nollkaemper, Cedric Ryngaert