Introduced by Beatrice I. Bonafé and Micaela Frulli

After two decades of exponential growth of the judicial oversight of international commitments, recent practice shows several examples of States denouncing or withdrawing from treaties establishing international organizations or providing for institutional supervisory mechanisms with the (more or less clearly declared) intent to preclude the operation of procedures that could hold their governments accountable under international law. Among others, States have withdrawn or threatened to withdraw from human rights treaties, the Non-Proliferation Treaty and statutes of international courts and tribunals.

Are those signs of a reverse trend calling into question the legitimacy and the effectiveness of international tribunals and dispute settlement bodies and, more generally, undermining the trend towards the ‘judicialization’ of international law? Is this attitude of States compatible with the general obligation of good faith and with the principle of loyal cooperation with international organizations? Are there or should there be other legal constraints on unilateral withdrawal? Does the nature of the underlying obligations, or any treaty regulation of the conditions and scope of the withdrawal, play a role in this appreciation? Do the nature, function, and purposes of the international organization or multilateral treaty at stake have any role in addressing these legal issues?