During the first edition of the Winter Courses of The Hague Academy, a new book titled The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice by Professor Maya Steinitz was presented to the students of the Academy.  A few chapters of this book were included in the reading lists of Professor Catherine Kessedjian who was responsible for the General Course during the Winter Session. In this book, Professor Steinitz argues for the creation of an International Court of Civil Justice (ICCJ). In a world where victims of cross-border mass torts de facto lack a court to turn to in order to pursue legal action against multinational corporations responsible for disasters, atrocities, and other harms, Prof. Steinitz argues that this is the only way to provide a fair, legitimate, and efficient process for both victims and corporations.


When multinational corporations cause mass harms to lives, livelihoods, and the environment in developing countries, it is nearly impossible for victims to find a court that can and will issue an enforceable judgment. In this work, Professor Maya Steinitz presents a detailed rationale for the creation of an International Court of Civil Justice (ICCJ) to hear such transnational mass tort cases. The world's legal systems were not designed to solve these kinds of complex transnational disputes, and the absence of mechanisms to ensure coordination means that victims try, but fail, to find justice in country after country, court after court. The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice explains how an ICCJ would provide victims with access to justice and corporate defendants with a non-corrupt forum and an end to the cost and uncertainty of unending litigation - more efficiently resolving the most complicated types of civil litigation.

This publication is available as an E-book in the Peace Palace Library .

More about the author:

Maya Steinitz is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, a Professor of Law and Bouma Family Fellow in Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, and an international arbitrator. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics including the intersection of civil litigation and corporate law, public and business international law, transnational dispute resolution, and the global legal profession. Her articles have been published by leading law reviews and law journals published by Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, Oxford University, and others.

Professor Steinitz has taught courses in comparative law, international law, and international dispute resolution at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Tel Aviv University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to joining academia, Professor Steinitz served as a litigator at Latham & Watkins, LLP (2003-2009) and Flemming, Zulack & Williamson LLP (2001-2002). She also clerked for the Hon. Esther Hayut, currently the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court (1998-1999).

Some reviews on the book from the website of the publisher:

'Professor Steinitz brings her bold proposal to life on the pages of this thought-provoking and brilliant monograph. At once theoretical and practical, her book makes a compelling case for placing the resolution of civil claims at the center of public international law.  This is a highly original--and long overdue--reorientation of the field.

Jens David Ohlin, Cornell Law School

'Never before have the individual, state, firm and global interest and justice benefits of a potential international court been so thoroughly examined.  Steinitz makes a compelling case for the establishment of an International Civil Court of Justice, and she provides the arguments that advocates can use to realize this plausible dream.  Cynics, scholars, and advocates of international courts more generally will learn much from Steinitz’ cogent analysis.

Karen J. Alter, Northwestern University and iCourts

'At a time when the wind blows against international courts and tribunals and states seem to have turned their back to the idea of international justice, Steinitz get us back on track and boldly charts the way forward. This brilliant, visionary, book makes a compelling case for a missing key component of an ideal international judicial system'.

Cesare P.R. Romano, Loyola Law School, Los Angles

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