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The process of adjudication in international law is thought to involve a wide range of activities and institutions. Some of the judicial institutions adjudicating treaty disputes have been perceived as ‘self-contained regimes’ and more politically active than others (especially the WTO, ECtHR and CJEU), promoting judicial activism and thus becoming a potential threat to the global unity and efficacy of the international legal order. This judicial activism of some international courts and tribunals has generated a fear of fragmentation of international law and a wide ongoing debate. However, in order to admit or reject the theoretical proposition advanced in the legal scholarship that the proliferation of international judicial bodies may create chaos in the international legal system, leading to fragmentation of international law, I considered it essential to examine comparatively in this book the practices of the general (ICJ) and two specialised courts (ECTHR and WTO) on the application of general rules of treaty interpretation of public international law as reflected in the 1969 VCLT’s general rule of interpretation. What I did not purport, however, to provide in this book was an extensive argument/discussion or contribution to the debate related to the fragmentation of international law. My goal was to provide several specific key findings related to the treaty interpretative trends of two different international specialised courts, the ECtHR and WTO, compared with the ICJ, as a general international court, and to to assess the impact of the two specialised courts’ practices on treaty interpretation upon the international law’s unity.
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Liliana E. Popa
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