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Settlement of International Disputes under PIL

The conventional purpose of international law was to promote the methods and techniques for resolving disputes between countries peacefully and fair and equitable manner. In this relation, the decree of international law is customary and primarily in the form of legal agreements. Methods for


The conventional purpose of international law was to promote the methods and techniques for resolving disputes between countries peacefully and fair and equitable manner. In this relation, the decree of international law is customary and primarily in the form of legal agreements. Methods for resolving international disputes fall into two main categories:

  • Peaceful means of settlement
  • Compulsive or forced means of settlement
Peaceful means of settlement of industrial conflicts
  1. Arbitration

It means a method by which a designated individual, known as an arbitrator, refers to a dispute. Your decision is called an award. These mediators are chosen by the disputing parties. The historical background of arbitration in international disputes can be outlined back extremely far. But in modern times, its history dates back to the 1794 Jay Treaty between Britain and the United States. The next important event in the development of arbitration’s resolution of international disputes was the arbitration of the 1872 Alabama case[1]. Because of this situation, the United States sought compensation from the United Kingdom for violating the Neutrality Act. The most important decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration is the 1905 Muscat Dhow case[2]. A recent obvious example is the Kutch War. In modern times, the importance of the 1968 International Arbitration Settlement in resolving disputes between India and Pakistan is similar.

  1. Judicial settlement

The most common type of dispute resolution. It should be a judicial reconciliation by the International Court of Justice in the splendour of the provisions of international law. The promotion of justice has a legal framework of international law known as the International Court of Justice. Both the arbitral council’s ruling and the International Court of Justice’s ruling are within the court’s settlement. The International Court of Justice carries out procedures to clarify the standards of international regulation, which are governed by laws and regulations known as the International Court of Justice.

  1. Concessions

Concessions are also a means of resolving international disputes. This is far less appropriate than a court settlement. Disputes can be resolved by conversation alone. In any case, on the off chance that negotiation fails to determine the dispute, different techniques, like good offices, mediation, and so forth might be utilized alongside dealings.

  1. Good offices

If two states cannot resolve the dispute, the third can provide a better office in return. These offices may also be represented by international organizations or a small number of individuals. A third state, individual or international organization creates an environment that can help resolve disputes. We can suggest some general ideas, but third parties are not actively involved in the concessions.

  1. Mediation

Mediation is another method of effort to resolve international disputes. Through mediation, a third State or individual provides its administration and effectively participates in discussions aimed at resolving disputes.

  1. Conciliation

In a broad sense, conciliation is a strategy to some extent different States or just people seek to calmly resolve the dispute through diverse means. After the issue is raised to the Commission, they present a description and suggest specific actions to clarify the issue. However, these proposals do not limit the parties. In Judge Hudson’s words, conciliation is the process of reviewing the facts and formally proposing a settlement after an attempt to adjust whether to accept or reject a formalized proposal.

  1. Inquiry

Inquiry is additionally a strategy that is frequently depended on for the resolution of disputes. It could be noticed that it’s anything but an autonomous technique and is frequently applied alongside different strategies. The fundamental target of the inquiry is to inquire into the important matters to lay out realities that might hold a definitive arrangement of the issue.[3] For instance, frequently Enquiry Commissions are named corresponding to the settlement of boundary disputes. The Commission explains current realities after enquiring about the significant realities.

  1. Resolution of international disputes under the propitious of the UN Organizations
  • It’s one of the goals of the UN for the Member States to resolve conflicts through peaceful sources. According to Article 2 of the Charter[4], Member States have promised to settle conflicts by peaceful sources, without resorting the violence.
  • The General Assembly of the UN can make recommendations for the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. (Article 14).[5]
  • Articles 33-38 of Chapter 6 of the Charter[6] contain provisions for the pacified resolution of international disputes. According to these provisions, if there is a threat to international peace and security, each country must resolve the dispute through judicial mediation, good duties, mediation, arbitration, investigation, or other peaceful means.
Compulsive or coercive means of settlement

If governments cannot resolve their disputes amicably, they may use force or repression, such as:-

  1. Retorsion

At the point when a State acts in an inconsiderate way with another State then International Law presents right upon the State impacted to turn to retorsion. “Retorsion” signifies counter. Be that as it may, the impacted State can take just those methods or measures as retorsion which is generally likewise allowed under International Law. For instance, in retorsion diplomatic relations might be finished, privileges of diplomatic agents are removed and financial offices might be halted. As Starke rightly stated, the United Nations has, in effect, denied the right to retorsion because, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, no State may take any remedial action that would jeopardize International Peace and Security.

  1. Reprisal

According to Starke “Reprisal” includes coercive measures adopted by one state against another to settle some dispute brought about by the latter’s illegal or unjustified act. In the case of the Naulillaa Incident[7], the tribunal held that the right of reprisal is subject to the following restrictions –

(a) Reprisals are illegal unless they are based upon a previous act contrary to International Law.

(b) As a prerequisite for the latter’s legitimacy, there must be a certain relationship between action and retaliation.

  1. Embargo

The embargo is one more urgent method for the settlement of international conflicts. It is a kind of reprisal, by the embargo, we intend that in the event that a State violates International Law or carries out some international offence, the affected State is eligible to take a deterrent measures in the transport of vessels in the affected State.

  1. Pacific blockade

Pacific blockade is one of the methods for the resolution of the International dispute. Through the pacific blockade, the intrusion and exit of the ports of the states are barricaded or blockaded so the vessels of different States may not arrive at the ports and the ships of the blockaded State might not leave the ports. Some researchers think that this implies has aged significantly and International Law doesn’t allow it. Regardless of whether it is contended that it has not turned into an old strategy, it can’t yet be yielded that the Charter of the UN has hugely impacted this right.

  1. Intervention

It is one more impulsive method for resolving disputes among states and short of war. As per Professor Oppenheim, that’s the doctrinaire intervention or interposition by a State in the affairs of another State to save or change the actual state of things.

  1. Under the Auspices of the U.N.

Section VII of the Charter of the United Nations deals with the provisions that the Security Council may need urgent measures to resolve disputes related to the conservation or refurbishment of international Tranquility and Surveillance.[8]


Peace can’t be established on earth unless the nation tends to resolve conflicts as a substance isolated from its inhabitants. Also, because the scale of interstate disputes is greater than the disputes between individuals in different situations, the sequel of their resolution is greater than the resolution of disputes between individuals in different situations. Therefore, individual states should take steps to resolve all disputes by friendly means. This is inevitable for world peace if both legal and real subtleties increase the number of conflicts.

Author(s) Name: Shrishti Saini (Ramaiah College of Law)


[1] Alabama Claims Arbitration 1872 (USA and Uk)  Geneva Arbitration, 1872

[2]Muscat Dhows ( France / Great Britain), PCA Case No. 1904-01

[3]  Dr. S.K. Kapoor, International Law and Human Rights,  (18th edition, Central Law Agency 2018) 346

[4] United Nations, Charter of the United Nations Article 2 of the Chapter VI

[5] United Nations, Charter of the United Nations Article 14 of the Chapter VI

[6] United Nations, Charter of the United Nations Article 33-38 of Chapter 6

[7] Special tribunal : Germany V. Portugal (1928) 2 RIAA 1012, 1019

[8] United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, Section VII