This introductory chapter begins with a review of empirical scholarship on international courts. It then sets out the book's purpose, which is to offer a conceptual framework to analyse international court effectiveness. It is a goal-based approach that draws upon the social science literature on organizational effectiveness. Such an approach provides a more open-ended vocabulary for understanding international court effectiveness than the one found in the existing international law and international relations literature. At the heart of the goal-based approach is the proposition that effective international courts are those that attain, within a predefined amount of time, the goals set for them by their relevant constituencies. An overview of the three parts of the book is also presented.
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