A distinct feature—and weakness—of public international law, in comparison with municipal law, is the lack of a compulsory judicial system. Recourse to mechanisms for the settlement of disputes depends on the consent of the parties concerned. In the absence of such consent, injured parties might be unable to seek redress before an international court or tribunal and breaches of international obligations could then remain unchallenged. Compulsory settlement of disputes should not be seen as a notion alien to international law. As early as 1899, during the first...
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