International dispute settlement is a fundamental, and growing, element of international relations in the public, private, and public/private spheres.
In the public sphere, the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means has been embedded in the UN Charter. However, only in the last few decades, states have increasingly resorted to international courts and arbitral bodies to solve their differences, including requesting adjudication over boundary disputes entailing the allocation of limited natural resources.
In the private sphere, globalization, and political, commercial and technological developments, bring about increasingly mobile and internationally active parties. As their mobility and activity increase, so do their disputes requiring access to effective and competent courts or arbitration bodies.
In the public/private sphere, substantial business investment in foreign states is dependent on investment treaties that guarantee judicial protection through arbitral tribunals.
The International Max Planck Research School for Successful Dispute Resolution in International Law (IMPRS-SDR) was founded in 2009 to examine and compare international dispute resolution procedures primarily from a legal perspective, while also considering wider political, sociological and psychological aspects, for example by assessing the reasons why parties turn to specific dispute settlement mechanisms or by considering the implementation of judgments and awards.
Complementing this multi-disciplinary approach, a multi-national student body conducts outstanding research from a truly international perspective. In addition to providing an international and lively research environment, the IMPRS-SDR strives to furnish Ph.D. candidates with first-hand practical insights into the many facets of international dispute resolution. Following a successful evaluation for the period 2009-2014, the IMPRS-SDR is now in its second funding phase.
The IMPRS-SDR is a multi-institutional effort by the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law in Luxembourg, Heidelberg University, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (until 2016), the University of Luxembourg and the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law. Since 2013, the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law has assumed a leading position within the IMPRS-SDR.