Article from: TDM 5 (2006), in Book Reviews & Related Materials
"By what artifice might a state owe a duty to the world at large to maintain an adequate system for the administration of justice?" This is the question that begins Jan Paulsson's book, Denial of Justice in International Law, and he answers it with one of the oldest principles of customary international law: the international minimum standard of conduct known as denial of justice.
Paulsson's book grew out of the 2003 Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures at Cambridge. It is the first book-length treatment of denial of justice since Alwyn Freeman's 1938 treatise, The International Responsibility of States for Denial of Justice. Given the "renaissance" of denial of justice claims under international human rights and investment treaties, it is timely to revisit the basic elements of this venerable international delict in the context of the 21st century state.
State responsibility for claims of denial of justice has once again become controversial due to the web of over 2300 international investment treaties that guarantee minimum standards of treatment directly enforceable through investor-state arbitration mechanisms. Denial of justice was, for instance, at the heart of the claim in Loewen v. United States, in which a Canadian investor claimed that the treatment it received from the Mississippi court system amounted to a denial of justice for which the United States was responsible under the investment protection provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Denial of Justice in International Law is a succinct and illuminating modern treatise on denial of justice. The book reviews and comments on the classic authorities and addresses more recent international jurisprudence under international human rights and investment treaties. Chapters 1-4 outline the main elements and modern definition of denial of justice. Chapter 5 examines the relationship between denial of justice and exhaustion of local remedies. The substantive content of the delict is explored in Chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 8 addresses remedies and sanctions. The book moves from treatise to polemic in the ninth and final chapter in what Paulsson describes as "hors sujet" "post scriptum". Paulsson brings his formidable experience and knowledge of international arbitration to bear in a spirited defence of the necessity and legitimacy of international adjudication of denial of justice claims.
 J. Paulsson, Denial of Justice in International Law (2005) at 1.  The first chapter of the book is aptly called "The renaissance of a cause of action".  For an overview of the increasing number of international investment treaties and investor-state arbitrations under those treaties, see UNCTAD, Investor-State Disputes Arising from Investment Treaties: A Review (New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2005).  The Loewen Group, Inc. and Raymond L. Loewen v. United States (Award, 26 June 2003) 42 ...
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A. Newcombe; "Denial of Justice in International Law, by Jan Paulsson (book review)"
TDM 5 (2006), www.transnational-dispute-management.com