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Enforcement of the International Judgments in a Multipolar World

Priority areas of development: law

Goal of research

Analysis of theoretical and practical issues of judgments of international justice institutions, in whole as well as concerning particular international courts and tribunals; evaluation of factors impacting the State’s conduct in the area of enforcement of international courts’ judgments


Legal and interdisciplinary methods, including critical legal studies

Empirical base of research

Case-law and activities of separate international courts

Results of research

In course of research main approaches were found regarding the enforcement as the second level of compliance with international norms; analysis was made of «enforcement method» and «management method» in international law; a number of problems of practical and theoretical nature revealed as to the implementation of international courts’ judgments, including the problems typical of the Russian legal system.

Within the framework of the Laboratory project in 2020 the research was carried out of current issues of international judgments in the context of general international law and the Russian legal system. The report contains main research results.

The first section of the Report focuses on the importance of enforcement of international judgments for development of both international law and the national legal system. The section offers analysis of the current state of legal doctrine on the topic and the possibilities of its study on interdisciplinary basis, in particular, as regards different points of view on the nature of such enforcement. The enforcement of international judgments implies the adoption of general and individual measures which is also studied in the Report. Besides, international judgments may be fully enforced but more frequently there is partial enforcement which it is not reflected in the general statistics of enforcement. That is why the study of enforcement efficiency becomes particularly important, since the efficiency in question should be assessed dynamically, by the way of evaluation of particular steps taken by the State in the process of international judgments enforcement. On the practical level the quality of individual measures of international judgments enforcement is determined by restitutio in integrum, that is, by restoration of the applicant’s rights as they had existed before the violation happened (is such possibility still exists). In its turn, such restoration may be done of the way of reexamination of the applicant’s case (reopening of the proceedings in domestic courts). At the same time, the efficiency of general measures adopted is determined through the quality the international judgments implementation to national legal systems, including the improvement of domestic remedies against violations found in an international court’s judgment. These points are also covered in the first section of the Report.

The second section focuses on enforcement of particular international courts: International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights and UN Committee of Human Rights. These institutions have been chosen due to their highest authority in the landscape of modern international justice, as well as due to the highest number of judgments delivered on the applications against Russia (in the ECtHR’s). As a result, their impact to the national legal systems is highest as well.

As regards the International Court of Justice and the UN Committee of Human Rights, although domestic law formally does not establish the procedures of their enforcement, their acts fare binding by virtue of general norms and principles of international law. The non-enforcement of such acts can not be justified by the reason of the absence of necessary procedures in the national law. In relation of the ECtHR the analysis is given of reexamination of domestic decisions following the declaration of a violation by the ECtHR, ands the issue of partial ECtHR’s judgments enforcement.

The third section gives analysis of the international commercial arbitral awards enforcement issues. Although international commercial arbitration is a «private» resolution tool for transnational disputes, the enforcement of arbitral awards allows as well to reveal the «points of resistance» of the State to the external jurisdictional outcomes. 

The conclusion contains main results and proposals as to the further directions of research of international judgments enforcement issues.


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Фокин Е. А., Ковлер А. И. Научно-аналитическая деятельность международных организаций в условиях чрезвычайных ситуаций // Журнал зарубежного законодательства и сравнительного правоведения. 2020. № 4. C. 118-133. doi
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