Chicago Journal of International Law

Article Title

Diplomatic Adjudication


Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently made headlines by announcing that the United States would seek to better its relations with Iran by, among other things, attempting to negotiate a global settlement of the legal daims outstanding between the two countries. The claims to which she referred are currently pending before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal ("Tribunal") in The Hague. For nearly twenty years now, the Tribunal has been arbitrating the claims of the two countries and their nationals and will continue to do so if no global settlement is forthcoming. After clerking for two judges in United States courts, I elected to move to The Hague to begin a very different sort of legal experience as legal adviser to one of the American judges at the Tribunal. The Tribunal came about as part of the deal freeing the United States citizens held hostage in Iran for 444 days between 1979 and 1981. But how Iran went from holding American hostages to agreeing to establish an arbitral tribunal to hear the claims of Americans against Iran requires a little background. [CONT]