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The Temporal Jurisdiction of International Tribunals by Gallus, Nick (4th May 2017)

8 Temporal Jurisdiction over Disputes that Arose before the Acceptance of the Tribunal’s Jurisdiction

From: The Temporal Jurisdiction of International Tribunals

Nick Gallus

Parties to the dispute (and jurisdiction) — Time limitations (and jurisdiction) — International courts and tribunals, decisions — International courts and tribunals, jurisdiction — International courts and tribunals, powers

This chapter focuses on the temporal limits over disputes that arose before the acceptance of the tribunal’s jurisdiction. The distinction between a provision that defines a tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction by the time of an act and one that focuses on the time of a dispute can be critical because an act that is challenged does not necessarily occur at the same time as the dispute that gave rise to that challenge. This chapter examines the different means through which states have confined the temporal jurisdiction of an international tribunal to future disputes. It then considers if, in the absence of such provisions, general principles of law impose a similar limit. In addition, the chapter addresses the extensive jurisprudence on the crucial moment that a ‘dispute’ arises. Finally, it examines how tribunals have determined if the dispute before them is separate from a dispute that clearly did arise before the acceptance of the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

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