The International Judicial Function under Pressure:
Do Courts and Tribunals Go Off the Rails?

Thursday, 8th February (14:00 to 18:00)


Friday, 9th February (9:00 to 13:00)

As part of its research project on "The International Judicial Function under Pressure: Do Courts and Tribunals Go Off the Rails?", the CIDS will host a conference, inviting scholars and early career researchers to join the CIDS researchers and leaders of this project in examining international judicial function and their ongoing findings.

Participants will present their research, focusing on topics relating to judicial restraint, activism, overreach, reasoning, and proposed corrective measures. The conference facilitates discussions that delve into correlations between judicial practices and the growing opposition to international courts and tribunals.

With the ever-evolving challenges in international dispute settlement, this event serves as a unique platform to explore legal questions and engage with the Project’s extensive data and research. The Conference will be structured around four substantive panels where participants will be presenting their research:

  1. Introduction – Defining the International Judicial Function and its Contours 
  2. Judicial Function and State Consent – Overreaching or Fulfilling the Mandate? 
  3. Judicial Function and Economy – Too Much or Too Little? 
  4. Judicial Function and Standards of Review – to Judge or not to Judge?
  5. Judicial Function and Encroachment – Meddling in Someone Else’s Affair?
  6. Concluding Remarks


Project Description:

In the ever-changing landscape of international law and dispute settlement, a notable shift has been observed since the early twenty-first century, marked by mounting challenges and backlash against international courts and tribunals. While contemporary research aims to address backlash against international courts and tribunals from a multidisciplinary perspective, thus unifying the field by bringing legal scholars, sociologists and political scientists together, the purpose of this research project is to ascertain, through mixed methods relying on qualitative analysis, whether adjudicators share part of the blame for the current socio-legal context. In particular, the research project aims to determine whether correlations can be established between backlash and the way the judicial function has been exercised. Our project aims to catalogue criticisms of judicial overreach and corrective proposals, offering a unique empirical analysis of these issues. The specific and practical aim of the project is thus to fill a gap, one that requires answering a twofold question. What are the boundaries of the international judicial function, and what constitutes interference in the exercise of that function?

Registration by request:

Send an e-mail to Ms Aparna Nagabhushana -



  • Laurence Boisson de Chazournes
    Governance, Faculty
    Professor, University of Geneva; Director, MIDS; Director, CIDS
  • Lorenzo Palestini
    Staff, Resident Researcher
    Lecturer, MIDS; Researcher, CIDS
  • Guillaume Guez
    Alumni 15-16
    PhD Candidate, UNIGE and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University Assistant, UNIGE
  • Aditya Laddha
    Alumni 19-20
    PhD Candidate, UNIGE Assistant, UNIGE