Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

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Law & Economics Working Papers


The International Court of Justice is the judicial organ of the United Nations and the preeminent international court, but its caseload is light and has declined over the long term relative to the number of states. This paper examines evidence of the ICJ’s decline, and analyzes two possible theories for this decline. The first is that states stopped using the ICJ because the judges did not apply the law impartially but favored the interests of their home states. The second is that the ICJ has been the victim of conflicting interests among the states that use and control it.



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