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Access to International Justice: A Review of the Trust Funds Available for Law of the Sea-Related Disputes

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The International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea all have trust funds to assist States with limited financial resources to defray the costs of litigation. This article reviews these funds, in particular their conditions for eligibility and apparent success (in attracting contributions and requests for financial assistance). The author further considers the argument that developing States have been denied access to international justice for reasons of cost. Even though recent trends would indicate that this is not the case, there are nevertheless a large number of small States with very limited financial resources facing potentially complex Law of the Sea-related disputes for which these trust funds will be instrumental in facilitating international litigation. For this reason alone, it is important that if these trust funds are to be maintained grants made from them should realistically reflect the costs likely to be incurred in international legal proceedings.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Lawyer, Public International Law group, Frere Cholmeley—Eversheds, Paris


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