Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
W. Andy Knight
During the past century, increasing legalization of global issues combined with an increase in the number and scope of formal international treaties, conventions, and protocols led to an expansion in the number and intensity of disputes between actors operating on the global stage. International courts are created to adjudicate these disputes. International courts are nonpolitical judicial bodies established through multilateral treaties. They employ independent judges who use international law and predetermined procedural rules to mete out judgments and give judicial advisory opinion on international disputes. Initially, such disputes were between states. However, since the 1960s, the scope of public international law has expanded so much that international legal personality was extended beyond states to embrace other actors, such as international organizations, multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, terrorists groups, and individuals. Today, at least seventeen permanent international courts and a growing number of quasi-judicial bodies, ad hoc tribunals, legal panels, arbitration commissions, ...