Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-fv566 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-17T11:48:17.168Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Litigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission. By Sean D. Murphy, Won Kidane, and Thomas R. Snider. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. xxi, 1038. Index. $240.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Roger Alford*
Notre Dame Law School


Image of the first page of this content. For PDF version, please use the ‘Save PDF’ preceeding this image.'
Recent Books on International Law
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 See The Rules, Practice, And Jurisprudence Of International Courts and Tribunals 53–56 (Chiara Giorgetti ed., 2012) (devoting four pages to the EECC); Karen J. Alter, The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (2014) (devoting no pages to the EECC); The Manual on International Courts and Tribunals (Ruth Mackenzie, Cesare P.R. Romano & Yuval Shany eds., 2d ed. 2010) (devoting just one footnote reference to the EECC).

2 See, e.g., Damrosch, Lori F., Henkin, Louis, Murphy, Sean D. & Smit, Hans, International Law: Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2009)Google Scholar; Carter, Barry E. & Weiner, Allen S., International Law (6th ed. 2011)Google Scholar; Dunoff, Jeffrey L., Ratner, Steven R. & Wippman, David, International Law: Norms, Actors, Process (3d ed. 2010)Google Scholar; O’Connell, Mary Ellen, Scott, Richard F. & Roht-Arriaza, Naomi, The International Legal System: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2010)Google Scholar.

3 The book under review includes a short list of law review articles that consider the EECC (pp. 413–15).

4 For example, how many international law practitioners or scholars are familiar with the work of modern commissions such as the Kosovo Property Claims Commission, the Commission for Resolution of Real Property Disputes in Iraq, or the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights in South Africa? See generally International Organization for Migration, Property Restitution and Compensation: Practices and Experiences of Claims Programmes (2008). By one estimate there were over eighty claims commissions created in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most of which are long forgotten. See The Project on International Courts and Tribunals, The International Judiciary in Context (2004), available at

5 See generally Evans, Mark, At War’s End: Time to Turn to Jus Post Bellum, Jus Post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations 26, 26 (Stahn, Carsten, Easterday, Jennifer S. & Iverson, Jens eds., 2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Alford, Roger P., On War as Hell, 3 CHI. J. Int’l L. 207, 209 (2002)Google Scholar.

7 Id.

8 See Treaty of the Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany (Treaty of Versailles), Art. 232, June 28, 1919, 49 Stat. 2712, 2 Bevans 43.

9 Germany did not pay off its final World War I-related debts until the reunification of east and West Germany in 2010. See Olivia Lang, Why Has Germany Taken So Long to Pay Off Its WWI Debt?, BBC News, Oct. 2, 2010, at

10 See, e.g., Treaty of Peace with Japan, Art. 14, Sept. 8, 1951, 3 UST 3169, 136 UNTS 45.

11 United Nations Compensation Commission, Criteria for Expedited Processing of Urgent Claims, paras. 12–14, UN Doc. S/AC.26/1991/1; Alford, supra note 6, at 212–13.

12 Burns H. Weston, Richard B. Lillich & David J. Bederman, International Claims: Their Settlement by Lump Sum Agreements, 1975–1995 (1999); Richard B. Lillich & Burns H. Weston, International Claims: Their Settlement by Lump Sum Agreements (1975).

13 Guidance Regarding Jus ad Bellum Liability (Eth. v. Eri.), Decision No. 7, para. 21 (Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Comm’n July 27, 2007) (reprinted in the book under review (p. 441)).

14 In the final damage award, the Tribunal held that Eritrea owed Ethiopia $174,036,520, while Ethiopia owed Eritrea $161,455,000 (pp. 99–102).

15 Proxy War Stokes Tension Between Ethiopia, Eritrea, Voice Of America, Mar. 18, 2012, at; David H. Shinn, Eritrea’s Regional Relations, Int’l Pol’y Dig., Aug. 17, 2012, at

16 Tariku Debretsion, The Ethiopia Eritrea No War No Peace Situation Has to End, Asmarino, Mar. 13, 2014, at

17 Alford, Roger P., The Proliferation of International Courts and Tribunals: International Adjudication in Ascendance, 94 ASIL Proc. 160 (2000)Google Scholar. The journal Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals is another excellent resource.

18 See Reparations for Victims of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity: Systems in Place and Systems in the Making (Carla Ferstman, Mariana Goetz & Alan Stephens Eds., 2009); International Organization for Migration, Property Restitution and Compensation: Practices and Experiences of Claims Programmes (2008); International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives (Howard M. Holtzmann & Edda Kristjánsdóttir Eds., 2007).

19 See, E.G., Peter Van den Bossche & Werner Zdouc, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization (2013); The European Court of Human Rights Between Law and Politics (Jonas Christoffersen & Mikael Rask Madsen eds., 2011); The International Tribunal for the Law Of the Sea: Law and Practice (P. Chandrasekhara Rao & Rahmatullah Khan eds., 2001); Charles N. Brower & Jason D. Brueschke, The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (1998).

20 See supra note 1 and accompanying text.

21 Lorand Bartels, Applicable Law Before International Courts and Tribunals (2015); Yuval Shany, Assessing the Effectiveness of International Courts (2014); Chester Brown, A Common Law of International Adjudication (2009).

22 See Alter, supra note 1, at 161–332.

23 See supra text accompanying notes 1–4.

24 Jus ad Bellum (Eth. v. Eri.), Ethiopia’s Claims 1–8, Partial Award 7 (Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Comm’n Dec. 19, 2005).

25 Id.

26 Ethiopia’s Damage Claims (Eth. v. Eri.), Final Award, para. 284 (Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Comm’n Aug. 17, 2009).

27 The volume also lists the most serious and less serious violations (p. 302).

28 See, e.g., Case 120/78, Rewe-Zentral AG v. Bundesmonopolverwaltung fuör Branntwein, 1979 ECR 649 (Cassis de Dijon); Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920).

29 See Charles Dickens, Bleak House 12 (Cricket House Books 2012) (1853) (“This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means.... Jarndyce and Jarndyce has passed into a joke.... It has been the death to many, but it is a joke in the profession.”).

30 For example, on contentious issues such as the EECC’s jurisdiction to resolve jus ad bellum claims, the authors express their personal views in favor of the EECC’s finding of jurisdiction but then also summarize the counterarguments presented by others (pp. 104– 08).