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8 - Compliance and non-compliance with international norms in territorial disputes: the Latin American record of arbitrations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2009

Arie M. Kacowicz
Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer in International Relations Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Eyal Benvenisti
Affiliation:
Tel-Aviv University
Moshe Hirsch
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Summary

Introduction

Why do states comply with international norms related to territorial disputes, such as pacta sunt servanda and the peaceful settlement of international disputes? Why and when do states reject adverse arbitration awards and not comply with their previous international commitments (to abide by the ruling)? This chapter attempts to answer these two questions by examining the strange reality of Latin American (especially the South American) international society, and its unique record of recourse to international arbitration to settle international disputes over territory.

Since independence, the Latin American countries have gradually built a sophisticated and highly developed system of regional international law and institutions, including regional norms that have regulated their international and domestic behavior. Among these regional norms are principles of sovereignty and non-intervention, the recognition of former colonial borders, peaceful settlement of international disputes and commitment to political legalism, democracy and human rights. More than any other regional grouping, the Latin American countries have turned to international arbitration to settle their territorial disputes (about twenty-two times in the last part of the nineteenth and throughout the twentieth centuries), and have complied on almost half of the occasions (ten or eleven out of twenty-two). This is a remarkable record in relative (comparative) terms.

The working assumption of any functional international society with “normal” international relations is that of compliance. Thus, international lawyers assume that “almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time.”

Type
Chapter
Information
The Impact of International Law on International Cooperation
Theoretical Perspectives
, pp. 194 - 215
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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