Arbitration Court of International Justice
The Arbitration Court of International Justice (ACIJ) is the “Common Court” for civil litigation and commercial arbitration cases. It is established as an autonomous official body of the inter-governmental organization (IGO) Ignita Veritas United (IVU), which serves as the host institution providing supporting infrastructure.
The Court is named “Arbitration” to emphasize its Judiciary independence from State Courts, protected by law against any political interference or undue influence from any government authorities. This also reflects its focus on “binding arbitration” as an alternative official Court of Law for commercial or contract matters, which benefits from direct simplified enforcement of “arbitration awards” under international law.
The Arbitration Court (ACIJ) was strategically founded as a more affordable and accessible alternative to State Courts, but with full Judiciary authorities as an official Court of Law, to adjudicate matters arising from any contractual or commercial relations between any private individuals or legal entities who choose or accept jurisdiction of the Court, in the manner of “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR).
The primary benefits and advantages of ACIJ arbitration include: (1) Affordable costs, by avoiding the need for “legal costs” of litigation lawyers, and eliminating travel costs; (2) Convenience of process by correspondence, by email, voice and video conferences; (3) Confidentiality of disputes and commercial matters, by keeping filings and evidence out of the “public record” of State Courts; and (4) Automatic “fast track” cross-border enforcement through State Courts of all countries under international law.
The specialized areas of expertise needed for effectively handling corporate and commercial matters are supported by the State College of Management and Economics (Business Faculty) of Ignita Veritas University.
All net proceeds from the Arbitration Court (ACIJ) and the Government Court Division of the higher Sovereign Court (SCIJ) are used to fund the non-profit operations of the Human Rights Court Division, through the Public Access to Justice Endowment (PAJE) Fund.
Access to Justice by Affordable Process
The Arbitration Court (ACIJ) is dedicated to promoting access to Justice, as one of the most fundamental human rights in customary international law, including: The UN Right to a Remedy for Violations of Human Rights Law mandating “fair and equal access to justice” (Articles 2(b), 3(c), 11(a), 12); The UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice, mandating “access to justice” (Article 4) through “informal procedures” (Article 5) specifically “including arbitration” (Article 7), to “minimize inconvenience”, “protect from intimidation” and “avoid unnecessary delay” (Article 6).
The most prevalent issue affecting true and meaningful access to Justice, is the practical matter of the costs of litigation. The true cost of litigation in State Courts go far beyond the mere filing fees. The many technicalities of State Courts generally require hiring lawyers or law firms, without which a party cannot expect any fair process nor favorable results. The real costs of world-class Judiciary Arbitration are significantly less than the customary legal costs for litigation in State Courts. The ACIJ Rules of Court eliminate the need for unnecessary legal costs, and provide process by correspondence to also eliminate all travel costs.
Further supporting access to Justice, the ACIJ Rules of Court are written for plain-language understanding, to accommodate diversity of international parties for whom English may be a second language, and to avoid the need for seeking legal services only to make use of the procedures. The Arbitration Rules are also designed to be simplified and streamlined, actually addressing more issues and providing more benefits than the statutory procedure rules of other arbitration tribunals, within only 25% of the normal page count of such rules.
Fair & Balanced Judiciary Process
As a modern trend, State Courts generally, and most arbitration tribunals, do not consider nor address the diverse methods by which parties increasingly abuse the judicial process, or otherwise circumvent or undermine due process of law. Whether the counter-party to a contract dispute is a major multinational backed by industry and political interest groups, or a small private company relying upon unfair advantages through disregard for law and rights, honest parties are often wrongfully placed at a disadvantage.
Resolving such issues of widespread popular concern, the Arbitration Court (ACIJ) is designed to strictly uphold the traditional practices of objective, balanced and comprehensive intervention, by the profession of the independent Judiciary. It is wholly dedicated to the principle that the convenience, economy, protections and enforcement of the Court must fully and equally benefit all parties. The ACIJ Rules thus ensure that the Court will “level the playing field”, counterbalancing any unfair advantages, and compensating for any unfair disadvantages, while prohibiting any unethical abuses.
International Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
As an official inter-governmental Court of Law, ACIJ is not limited to the typical monetary awards of a private arbitration tribunal as mere “alternative dispute resolution”, but can apply the full range of judicial and enforcement remedies, with real-world practical applications, for meaningful resolution of all aspects of any case in dispute. The ACIJ Rules of Court thus make effective use of such enhanced means of intervention, for escalated measures of enforcement, in ways which are normally reserved to State Courts.
Under international law, all governmental State Courts are required to provide automatic fast-track enforcement of international Arbitral Awards, with collection and other measures in the same manner as judgments of a State Court, without any further hearing (UN Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Article 3). Arbitration thus allows the prevailing party to simply register the Arbitral Award judgment with the relevant State Court for mandatory enforcement. This mechanism for meaningful international cross-border enforcement through State Courts is binding upon all countries as conventional international law (UN Law of Treaties, Article 38).
In the event that a prevailing party encounters resistance by State authorities to enforcement of an Arbitral Award of the Arbitration Court (ACIJ) as the “Common Court”, enforcement can be escalated to the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) as the supporting “High Court”, for intervention by its Chamber of Compliance Judges as the dedicated international enforcement division holding all States to the Rule of Law.
Limited Scope of Matters Subject to Arbitral Enforcement
A positive modern trend of restoring historical institutions, including those which would be a sovereign subject of international law, has given rise to a negative trend of claimants seeking to rely upon an “Arbitration Award” to establish legal facts of customary international law as a basis for legitimacy of a sovereign institution. However, this strategy reflects a fundamental misunderstanding which overlooks the core concept and definition of “Arbitration”, and its inherent limitations, and would thus constitute an abuse of an Arbitral Award.
While it is true that Arbitral Awards are universally enforceable, this fact does not translate to having universal jurisdiction over matters of international law, and does not overcome the inherent limitations on the scope of private Arbitration:
The UN Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards is strictly limited to “arbitral awards… arising out of differences between persons” (Article 1.1), specifically “only differences arising out of legal relationships… which are considered as commercial” (Article 1.3), in particular “differences which have arisen… in respect of a defined legal relationship… concerning a subject matter capable of settlement by arbitration” (Article 2.1), limited to “a matter in respect of which the parties have made an agreement” (Article 2.3).
This rule of law is clear, that Arbitration has a very narrow scope, limited to determining only the “legal relationship” between the parties, only considering its “commercial” aspects, and only within the terms of the contractual “agreement” between them.
Therefore, for cases involving matters of legitimacy or succession related to rights in any sovereign status, an Arbitral Award can only determine the obligations of the parties between each other, all conditional upon and subject to the assumption that the rights have legitimacy to begin with. Nothing about any Arbitral Award can purport to deal with the underlying question of whether or not such rights actually exist as a matter of law. Private parties do not have the legal capacity to contractually “agree” on historical facts and legal facts which would establish legitimacy of sovereign status under customary international law. Such underlying legal facts of international law are thus not a “subject matter capable of settlement by arbitration”, and any Arbitral Award attempting to do so would thus be invalid and unenforceable.
Furthermore, “Recognition and enforcement of the award may be refused” by State Courts if the contractual “agreement is not valid under the law”, or if the “award deals with… decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration” (Article 5.1). “Recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award may also be refused if… The subject matter of the difference is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law” (Article 5.2).
A private contract can only dispose of rights and obligations arising under established law, and cannot purport to “agree” on legal facts about what the law is. Any agreement purporting to determine legal facts of the law itself are thus “not valid under the law”, such matters are “not capable of settlement by arbitration”, and any Arbitral Award pertaining to such “matters beyond the scope” of the agreement would thus be invalid and unenforceable.
Therefore, only an official Court of Law of the Judiciary has the exclusive authority to determine and take “judicial notice” of legal facts of history and customary international law, and to issue a resulting “declaratory judgment” establishing the legitimacy and succession of any claimed sovereign status. For this purpose, the Arbitration Court (ACIJ) can refer such cases to its affiliated Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ) as an international Court of Justice and official Court of Record for all matters of international law. Any resulting Declaratory Judgment establishing sovereign legitimacy can be supplemented by an included Arbitral Award element to the extent that it resolves contractual obligations between the parties, thereby connecting the supra-governmental international law Judgment with ancillary enforcement as a Foreign Arbitral Award.