Chapter 3: Professor Mikael Rask Madsen


“The central goal for iCourts is to get a better understanding of the transformation of the multilateral and international order that is found in international courts and has existed for the last 100 years. The Permanent Court of International Justice, now the International Court of Justice, was founded in 1922 in The Hague. After World War ll, new regional human rights courts and economic courts were founded as well. After the Cold War, international courts underwent another expansion, so that, today, there are 25 such courts around the world.”

»The international courts are invisible to most people, but they are part of the guarantee of our democracy. Among other things, this means that we have freedom of speech: the right to sit and talk together. There is an overall international court that is under pressure now, but at the same time, it is also legally stronger than ever. This is the paradox iCourts is studying.«

“According to Mikael Rask Madsen, the world order is under pressure because of a geopolitical and national political transformation, which means there isn’t the same investment in supporting international unity that there was 15 years ago. There is a growing nationalist tendency in large countries like China and the USA as well as in smaller countries like Poland, Hungary, and Turkey.” 

»If a united international order is fundamental to a greater sense of freedom in the world, then we have a serious problem. I have specialized in the international court ever since I was studying in the mid-nineties. I’m a child of the time when the Berlin Wall fell and the international order as we know it today was created. Back then, it seemed like something that would just grow and grow, but that has changed rapidly over the last couple of years.«

You can read the complete portrait of Professor Mikael Rask Madsen (in Danish) by downloading the chapter below. 

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