Multiple International Judicial Forums: A Reflection of the Growing Strength of International Law or its Fragmentation?

The main thrust of this presentation is to suggest that the creation of multiple international judicial tribunals is a function of the ever-expanding nature of international law and that the creation of such tribunals is a sign of the growing maturity of international law. While it is admitted that these tribunals have to be sensitive to the needs of promoting the unity and integrity of international law, a brief look at the available evidence of their functioning so far has revealed no cause for concern of fragmentation. The author will look specifically at the working of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, primarily because its creation had elicited some stringent criticism and concern in this respect. The author will also refer to the dispute settlement understanding that governs the World Trade Organization Treaty system and the ad hoc tribunals that are invested with the jurisdiction to try the serious crimes committed during the conflict affecting the former territories of Yugoslavia.