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Relationship between Competent Courts and Applicable Law. Interpretation of Jurisdictional Clauses

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Chapter Summary

Most contracts concluded by intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) contain a clause on the settlement of disputes by arbitration, or by a national court or an IGO court. This chapter examines the question of what law each type of court normally applies and how a reference of disputes to that court may be interpreted. The procedure is in all courts governed by lex fori. The chapter explores the choice of substantive law, separately for each type of court. International courts apply in principle international law. Most jurisdictional clauses refer to arbitration, i.e. to a body which is neither an organ of the organization, nor of any State. In some cases the constitution, regulations or the contracts provide that disputes with private parties shall be brought before standing or ad hoc internal courts of the organization (IGO courts). The constitutions of the European Community and EURATOM also contain provisions on applicable law.

Keywords:applicable law; intergovernmental organization (IGO) courts; international courts; jurisdictional clauses; national courts; procedural law



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