Home>Zeynep Yildirim defended her thesis


Zeynep Yildirim defended her thesis

On 19 June 2023, Zeynep Yildirim >defended her PhD thesis, entitled "International Adjudication Re-thought: The ECtHR, the WTO Dispute Settlement, the ICSID and the Legal System" and written under supervision of Professor Mikhail Xifaras.


  • Jean d’Aspremont, Full Professor, IEP de Paris
  • Isil Ergüvenç, Full Professor, Kadir Has University (reviewer)
  • Duncan Kennedy, Emeritus Professor, Harvard University
  • Akbar Rasulov, Full Professor, University of Glasgow (reviewer)
  • Julie Saada, Full Professors, IEP de Paris


The thesis carries out a meticulous and original exploration of international adjudication, specifically, the new generation of international adjudication as once called, which has now become the mainstream. The illustrations selected are the WTO dispute settlement system, the ECtHR and the ICSID arbitration, which display different features that are generally considered substantial. Yet, the argument is that in terms of the relationship between judicial decision making and the law, they have much more in common, which are more decisive than their differences. Prior to an assessment of the role of adjudication in the foundational restructurings in the law in our times, the thesis turns to adjudication and the law, to the question of what adjudication does in a legal system. In light of Luhmann’s systems theory and Duncan Kennedy’s theorization of legal reasoning as legal work, the fundamentals of judicial decision making, the law-making law application distinction, legal indeterminacy and the autonomy of law are revisited. This revisit reminds and casts light on how adjudication can be central to the law, to its differentiation, autonomy, operation, unity and its boundaries. The alleged peculiarities of international adjudication, its legitimacy, enforcement, effectiveness, function, fragmentedness are thoroughly dealt with. A whole new perspective is thereby developed to highlight the continuities and similarities between international adjudication and adjudication as such. Systems theory is relied on to propose a new understanding of the legal unity in the global condition. The thesis identifies the new generation of international adjudication as one of the principal processes of legal denationalization and legal globalization, as the carrier of the law, understood as a legal system, beyond, above as well as within the national level. An inquiry into public international law’s ability to accommodate the “new” generation of international adjudication, in particular, the far-reaching and radical effects it engenders for the law accompanies the analysis. In light of the foregoing, international adjudication is placed in the context of global law, globally re-constituting legal system. How a conventional, seemingly paradigm friendly legal institution undermines the dividing line between national and international law, among others, and serves the law’s global turn is elaborated.

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