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The Impact of International Organizations on International Law addresses how international organizations, particularly those within the UN system, have changed the forms, contents, and effects of international law. Professor Jose Alvarez considers the impact on sovereigns and actions taken by the contemporary Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and UN Specialized Agencies such as the World Health Organization. He considers the diverse functions performed by adjudicators – from judges of the International Criminal Court to arbitrators within the international investment regime. This text raises fundamental questions concerning the future of international law given the challenges international organizations pose to legal positivism, to traditional conceptions of sovereignty, and to the rule of law itself.



"A masterfully crafted piece of scholarship that engages with the very raison d’être of international organizations. Written by one of the leading authorities in the field, this book provides an insightful, perspicacious and to-the-point analysis of the impact of international organizations in today’s international legal order while also shedding light on their weaknesses. A must read for all those whose work touches upon the law of international organization." ~Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, University of Geneva

"The role of Public International Law, rooted largely in decisions of or relating to international institutions, has been steadily, quietly re-shaping international economic relations and other links between states and regions for decades. There is no greater authority on international organizations within the American law community than Professor José Alvarez. This volume illuminates these trends as well as their limitations and vulnerabilities. It delivers a first-rate, incisive primer on the field." ~David M. Malone, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Rector of the UN University



American Classics in International Law: International Investment Law, edited by Professor José E. Alvarez, contains a selection of the best scholarship on the subject produced by those with a connection to the United States. Since international investment law remains a subject that is not codified in a single multilateral treaty, the volume also contains selections of U.S. treaties that have influenced the over 3,400 international investment agreements (IIAs) now in existence. The collection offers a selection of significant addresses by prominent U.S. policy-makers along with a comprehensive introduction by the Editor that puts the various elements - the contributions made by U.S. academics, treaty-negotiators, and policy-makers - in a broader context.
This monograph considers the ramifications of the legal regime that governs transborder capital flows. This regime consists principally of a network of some 3,000 investment treaties, as well as a growing body of arbitral decisions. Professor Alvarez contends that the contemporary international investment regime should no longer be described as a
species of territorial “empire” imposed by rich capital exporters on capital importers. He examines the evolution of investment treaties and investor-State jurisprudence constante and identifies the connections between these and general trends within public international law, including the increased resort to treaties (“treatification”), growing risks to the law’s consistency (“fragmentation”), and the proliferation of forms of international adjudication (“judicialization”). Professor Alvarez also considers whether the regime’s efforts to “balance” the needs of non-State investors and sovereigns ought to be characterized as “global administrative law," as a form of “constitutionalization,” or as an increasingly human-rights-centred enterprise.
In: Baltic Yearbook of International Law Online

This article addresses the tools by which international lawyers engage in interpretative ‘boundary crossings’ across distinct international regimes, such as those involving trade, investment, and human rights. It distinguishes the traditional tools of treaty interpretation, such as those licensed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), that encourage interactions between trade and international investment law (such as the VCLT’s Article 31(3)(c), from some more innovative interpretations now proposed by self-identified ‘public law’ scholars. Drawing on examples of boundary crossings pursued recently by investor-state arbitrators and the International Law Commission, it warns against interpretative boundary crossings that go against the object and purpose, remedies or organizational structures of the underlying regimes. It argues that such interpretative linkages, however well-meaning, may not be as ‘progressive’ as anticipated.

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade
In: Progress in International Law
In: Looking to the Future
In: Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court

Securing the accountability of one particular kind of international organization, namely international courts, raises unique issues, as is suggested by ongoing efforts to establish supervisory mechanisms within the International Criminal Court (icc). The Independent Oversight Mechanism (iom) for the icc, as originally proposed, would have enabled a subsidiary of the Court’s political organ, namely the Assembly of States Parties, to have independent investigatory capacity over members of the staff of the Prosecutor of the icc without the need for prior approval of the Prosecutor. This would have been inconsistent with the provisions of the Rome Statute granting the independence of the Office of the Prosecutor and would have been unwise. The proposed iom contains other uncertainties or ambiguities that should be resolved. International lawyers need to devote attention to these institutional matters lest the independence of the Prosecutor, and of the Court itself, be undermined.

In: Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court
In: The Impact of International Organizations on International Law