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030238 SE Seminar in International Law: International Organizations and Dispute Settlement (2020S)

(for undergraduate and graduate students)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 18.03. 16:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum SEM64 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 6.OG (Kickoff Class)
Monday 15.06. 09:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum SEM62 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 6.OG
Tuesday 16.06. 09:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum SEM62 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 6.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

The settlement of disputes involving international organizations, whether it concerns disputes with states, with other international organizations or with private parties, has only recently received increased attention. In the past, international organizations were largely considered to provide fora for the settlement of disputes between states. However, with increasing regulatory and operative activities of international organizations the likelihood that their actions are challenged by member states as well as third parties has increased considerably. International organizations have to defend themselves before national courts, administrative tribunals and arbitral tribunals.
This seminar will address all types of disputes between international organizations and other entities before national and international courts, tribunals and other dispute settlement institutions and it should also dwell on the most adequate design of dispute settlement to be developed in those fields where gaps are identified in order to live up to rule of law demands.
Students are requested to select a seminar paper on the basis of the topics listed below.

Assessment and permitted materials

Seminar paper, presentation of the paper and participation in the discussion during the seminar sessions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

• International organizations before international courts: cases involving IOs before the ICJ
• The special case of the ECJ and other courts of regional economic integration organizations
• Internal non-judicial accountability mechanisms (WB Inspection Panel, etc.)
• Administrative Tribunals of IOs
• National court cases against IOs
• National court cases addressing (the lawfulness of) acts of IOs
• Human rights and rule of law demands in regard to dispute settlement concerning IOs
• Examples from the relevant case law

Reading list

Preliminary Bibliography

Laurence Boisson de Chazournes/Cesare Romano/Ruth Mackenzie (eds), International Organizations and International Dispute Settlement: Trends and Prospects (Martinus Nijhoff 2002).

Kristen E Boon/Frédéric Mégret, ‘New Approaches to the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2019) 16 International Organizations Law Review 1-10.

Enzo Cannizzaro, ‘A Machiavellian Moment? The UN Security Council and the Rule of Law’ (2006) 3 International Organizations Law Review 189-224.

Erika De Wet/Andre Nollkaemper, ‘Review of the Security Council Decisions by National Courts’ (2002) 45 German Yearbook of International Law 166-202.

Panayotis Glavinis, Les litiges relatifs aux contrats passés entre organisations internationales et personnes privées, Travaux et recherches Panthéon-Assas, Paris II. Paris (1990).

Jan Klabbers/Åsa Wallendahl (eds.), Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations (Edward Elgar 2011).

Alexander Orakhelashvili, ‘The World Bank Inspection Panel in Context: Institutional Aspects of the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2005) 2 International Organizations Law Review 57-102.

Matthew Parish, ‘An essay on the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2010) 7 International Organizations Law Review 277-342.

August Reinisch, ‘Securing the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2001) 7 Global Governance 131-149.

August Reinisch (ed), Challenging Acts of International Organizations Before National Courts (OUP 2010).

August Reinisch (ed) The Privileges and Immunities of International Organizations in Domestic Courts (OUP 2013).

August Reinisch, ‘International Organizations and Dispute Settlement: A New Topic for the International Law Commission?’ (2018) 15 International Organizations Law Review 1-7.

Henry G. Schermers/Niels M. Blokker, International Institutional Law (Martinus Nijhoff 2011).

Pierre Schmitt, Access to Justice and International Organizations (Edward Elgar 2017).

Guglielmo Verdirame, The UN and Human Rights: Who Guards the Guardians? (CUP 2011).

Matthieu Waechter, ‘Due Process Rights at the United Nations: Fairness and Effectiveness in Internal Investigations’ (2012) 9 International Organizations Law Review 339-381.

Karel Wellens, Remedies Against International Organizations (CUP 2002).

Jan Wouters/Eva Brems/Stefaan Smis/Pierre Schmitt (eds), Accountability for Human Rights Violations by International Organisations (Intersentia 2010).

Nassib Ziadé (ed), Problems of International Administrative Law: On the Occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal (Martinus Nijhoss 2008).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:19