- Arbitrability — Time limitations (and jurisdiction) — Arbitral agreements
This introductory chapter presents a brief overview on the temporal jurisdiction of international tribunals, as well as the aims and structure of this volume. The period of an international tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction (jurisdiction ratione temporis) is the span of time during which an act must have occurred before the tribunal may consider if the act breached an international obligation. Together with subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and territorial jurisdiction, the temporal jurisdiction of an international tribunal delineates its powers. Despite its importance, however, the temporal jurisdiction of international tribunals is not well understood. No work has comprehensively addressed the different limits on a tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction and how these limits interact. This chapter shows how the rest of this volume seeks, first, to reduce confusion by clarifying the different limits on the temporal jurisdiction of international tribunals, and the important distinctions between those limits and, secondly, to determine the extent to which tribunals created under different treaties have exercised their discretion over temporal jurisdiction in common ways.