Introduction

Author:Anthony Connerty
Profession:Barrister and member of WIPO arbitration panel
Pages:19-
 
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    "The greatest contribution from the legal systems of Great Britain and the United States toward peace in the world has been the principle that all nations should live under the Rule of Law. The concept of the Rule of Law - that laws should be enacted by democratically elected legislative bodies and enforced by independent judiciaries - is fundamental to a free society. The knowledge that there are certain basic rights of the individual that are enforceable even against the state has been the hallmark of our system of governance.

    "Our constitutional heritage has been influenced significantly by Magna Carta, the document signed by King John of England in 1215 limiting his own monarchical powers as a settlement with his own warring barons. Its importance is acknowledged in the Supreme Court building itself, where the two bronze doors through which most people enter the Court depict a scene of King John sealing Magna Carta. In the courtroom itself, as I sit on the bench, I can see a marble frieze portraying the great lawmakers of history. There, amongst Chief Justice John Marshall, Napoleon, and Justinian, stands King John - clothed in chain-mail armour and clutching a copy of Magna Carta."

Sandra Day O'Connor 3

Page 19

Disputes that involve States or in which one of the parties is a State may conveniently be labelled 'supranational' so as to distinguish them from pure commercial disputes. As suggested earlier, there are three particular types of supranational dispute that are of considerable significance in today's world: disputes involving land, disputes involving maritime boundaries and investor-State disputes (or investment treaty disputes, as they are often described). These are considered in later chapters of this part of the Manual.

One significant factor that distinguishes these supranational disputes from pure commercial disputes is the type of Tribunal that deals with them. They are likely to be dealt with by one of the supranational bodies considered in Part III of the Manual: the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) or the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Centre). Pure commercial disputes, on the other hand, are likely to be dealt with in national courts or by one of the international commercial arbitral bodies considered in Part IV of the Manual.

Another distinguishing factor between...

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