The publications listed here represent a small selection of the work of staff members of the GCILS. To see full listings of publications please click through to the University of Glasgow main webpages in each individual staff member profile.

A coherence framework for fact-finding before the International Court of Justice

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It is the task of the International Court of Justice to establish the operative facts from which to draw normative conclusions in all contentious cases that come before it. This task, however, is complicated where those facts necessitate engagement with specialized epistemic fields other than law such as science. Drawing on legal theory and epistemology I propose a coherence framework for the establishment of the facts in such cases. In essence, this means that the Court need not show that its factual determinations have been established beyond all doubt, nor even that they satisfy a certain standard of probability. Rather, what the Court must show is that a factual determination it has made has been arrived at through a rational process and that it is coherent. The coherence framework also has both descriptive and normative value as it both maps neatly on to the current (best) practice of the Court and provides a justification for why it should operate this way in the future.

The role of science and expert evidence in the ICJ’s Silala judgment: how Bolivia’s incoherent claims ran up against reality

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s 2022 Silala judgment is surely one of the most curious that the Court has ever handed down. The judgment represents perhaps the first time ever that the Court has decided that the claims of one of the parties, in this case Bolivia, had changed so much over the course of proceedings that ultimately all but one claim and one counter-claim were without object. Leaving aside this curious fact, in this short piece I would like to focus on the role of science and expert evidence in bringing about this curious conclusion of proceedings. After some preliminary thoughts which situate my analysis of the Silala dispute (section 2), in I will map out how Bolivia’s claims changed over time and speculate as to the role that experts played in this evolution (section 3). I am going to suggest that Bolivia’s retreat from its original position was precipitated by expert evidence which showed that it would not be able to demonstrate that its factual claims were ‘sufficiently well-founded’ to meet the Court’s standard of proof. I am also going to suggest that the role of expert evidence in forcing Bolivia to alter its claims can most helpfully be explained in terms of factual coherence (section 4). I will finish with some more general reflections, including the suggestion that this case contains a broader lesson, one that has implications beyond this particular dispute. This is that while parties are free to make whichever factual claims they (or perhaps more accurately their governments) wish to, only coherent claims have any chance of meeting the Court’s standard of proof, and ultimately of persuading the Court to rule in that party’s favour.

International Investment Law and General International Law: Radiating Effects?

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Edited by Christian J. Tams, Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow, UK, Stephan W. Schill, Professor of International and Economic Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Rainer Hofmann, Professor of Public Law, Public International Law and European Law, University of Frankfurt, Germany. This book questions whether investment law influences the wider field of general international law, and more specifically, whether approaches adopted by tribunals in investment arbitrations have radiated, or should radiate, into other fields of international law.

Edited Book, Frankfurt Investment and Economic Law series, Edward Elgar 2023


Stephan W. Schill
Rainer Hofmann

Research Handbook on Secession

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Combining both theoretical and practical insights, the Research Handbook on Secession addresses a wide range of legal issues and concepts surrounding secessions. It considers both well-known examples such as Kosovo and Bangladesh alongside less frequently discussed cases including Somaliland and Palestine. The Research Handbook offers state-of-the-art analysis of international law on – among other topics – statehood, secession, self-determination, as well as comparative constitutional perspectives.

Vidmar, J.

Investment Protection, Human Rights, and International Arbitration in Extraordinary Times

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The interaction of investment protection, human rights, and international arbitration is complex. Theories on their interaction are helpful starting points. At the same time, general formulas reach their limits as soon as it comes to evaluating concrete issues. In twelve chapters, the present volume therefore analyses different thematic interactions between investment law and human rights in order to develop a more context-specific understanding. With contributions by Filip Balcerzak, Gustavo Becker, Christina Binder, Tillmann Rudolf Braun, Barnali Choudhury, Henner Gött, Martin Gronemann, Edward Guntrip, Malte Gutt, Anna Hankings-Evans, Rainer Hofmann, Markus Krajewski, Juan Ignacio Massun, Tomasz Milej, Julian Scheu, Stephan W. Schill, Peter-Tobias Stoll, Christian J. Tams and Anne van Aaken.

Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2022

ISBN print: 978-3-8487-7405-0, ISBN online: 978-3-7489-1406-8

Stephan W. Schill (ed)
Rainer Hofmann (ed)
Julian Scheu (ed)

Introduction to the symposium on incidental jurisdiction

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The doctrine of incidental jurisdiction has had significant bearing on some of the most important international legal disputes of recent times, challenging one of the truths that international lawyers hold to be self-evident: that the jurisdiction of international courts and tribunals is dependent on the consent of states. But what exactly is this doctrine and why does it deserve to be the focus of this symposium? The doctrine of incidental jurisdiction allows tribunals to bring within their jurisdiction “incidental” or “ancillary” issues that are crucial to answering the question over which the tribunal certainly does have jurisdiction. It is a useful device that in certain, limited situations allows international courts and tribunals to consider legal questions that are beyond the jurisdiction to which states formally consent.