Remedies, Reputation and Beliefs: Prices and Sanctions in International Economic Law

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Title: Remedies, Reputation and Beliefs: Prices and Sanctions in International Economic Law
Creators: Brewster, Rachel
Contributors: Flemming, Kyle
Keywords: economics
Issue Date: 2012-04-16
Publisher: Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies
Series/Report no.: Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Globalization Speaker Series
Abstract: Legal scholars generally consider the creation of formal remedies an unambiguous good for international law. For a field obsessed with the lack of enforcement, the creation of international adjudicatory panels and the creation of "real" remedies can signify the seriousness of the international obligation. International law seems to approach domestic law in its access to independent adjudication and hard consequences for non-compliance. Yet the move towards international adjudication and remedies is a double-edged sword. The creation of remedies can diminish the system of informal remedies that currently supports international law. The conventional view is that formal sanctions will be additive to these informal sanctions, that the inclusion of informal sanctions will only increase the costs of breach. But an alternative relationship is also possible — that the move towards formal remedies will decrease access to informal remedies, including reputation. In some cases the access to formal remedies will still be an "improvement" over the traditional approaches to international law enforcement in the sense that the costs of breach are higher with formal remedies. Yet in other circumstances, the cost of breach may be lower without formal remedies. In either case, calculating the overall costs of breach — necessary to designing optimal remedy regime — requires an understanding of how informal and formal sanctions interact.
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