This introductory chapter situates incidents of interplay between national and international courts over similar disputes within a broader legal and historical context: the penetration of international law into domestic law and the expansion of domestic law across national borders. These developments have resulted in increased interaction between national and international judicial proceedings and have contributed to the blurring of the distinction between national and international law, and between national and international law-applying institutions. The chapter also briefly discusses the main conceptual obstacles to regulating the jurisdictional relations between national and international courts: dualism, hierarchy and disintegrationism, and explains why failure to regulate the aforementioned jurisdictional relations entails certain costs for the parties, the courts involved and international law in general. Finally, the chapter sets out the research question, the structure of the work, and the methodological limits encountered.
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