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“Let’s (Not) (Dis)Agree to Disagree!? – What Is a “Dispute” in International Adjudication?
Información básica
el Lunes, 25 de Noviembre 2019, 14:00 - 16:30
Calle Serrano 26, 4ª-derecha. 28001, Madrid
Fide Foundation holds this session. To attend, It is essential to confirm attendance at Fide. Please ask for your registration to Victoria Dal Lago ( This session will be carried out in English.

Panelist: Andreas Kulick, Senior Research Fellow, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany. Visiting professor, University of Cologne (*)

Moderator: Carlos Espósito, Chaired Professor of Public International Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

International courts and tribunals only enjoy jurisdiction to settle a dispute if what is submitted before them is precisely thus – a “dispute”. From Article 36(2) of the ICJ Statute over Articles 286 and 287 UNCLOS to the dispute settlement clauses in international investment agreements – both, with respect to investor-state and state-state arbitration – international adjudication usually requires demonstration that the parties are in fact engaged in a “dispute”. According to the World Court, a “dispute” is a “disagreement on a point of fact or law”. However, what if the parties disagree over whether there actually exists such disagreement? What if, say, in a state-state investment arbitration under a BIT, the opposing party refused to respond to the applicant’s submissions prior to the introduction of proceedings? Or, before the ICJ, the respondent argues that there is no “dispute” because it declined to react to the applicant’s contentions? In other words, can a disputing party avoid a dispute by playing dead? On the other hand, where to draw the line in order to prevent the applicant from seizing an international court or tribunal where there is in fact no real disagreement among the parties?

The session will address these matters analysing recent ICJ jurisprudence and arbitrations between States, including in the framework of international investment agreements, and discussing the implications of various approaches to addressing the issues raised.

Forum Directors:
  • Ignacio Díez-Picazo, Chaired Professor of Procedural Law at the Faculty of Law, Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Lawyer. Member of the Academic Counsel of FIDE.
  • Carlos Espósito, Chaired Professor of Public International Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of FIDE.
  • Francisco Garcimartín, Chaired Professor of Private International Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Member of the Academic Counsel of FIDE.

Schedule: The session will be held between 2.00pm and 4.30pm, reserving the first half hour for an informal snack.

(*) Andreas Kulick, (Habilitation, Tübingen; Doctor iuris, Tübingen; LL.M., NYU School of Law; First and Second State Exams, Berlin) is currently a visiting professor at the University of Cologne. He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tübingen, a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (University of Cambridge), a Global Fellow at NYU School of Law and a guest at the WZB Social Science Research Center Berlin. He is widely published on various aspects of public international law, including international adjudication, international investment law and international and regional human rights protection. He has advised and represented states in various matters of public international law before international courts and tribunals and is a Member of the ILA Study Group on Content and Evolution of the Rules of Interpretation in International Law.

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