Scientific Knowledge, Justice, and the Fair (International) Trial

The role of scientific inputs in aiding justice has long been recognized in environmental protection, criminal evidence, and patents; there is less consideration of the impact of scientific knowledge on resolution processes and moral foundations of international law. This paper explores how the process of dispute resolution has come to rely on scientific inputs in taking certain decisions with implications on health and environment. This reliance will prove particularly relevant in international (investment) disputes arising out of governmental pandemic responses–with serious economic impacts. The paper is divided into two parts: 1) an overview and examination of how international courts and tribunals use, rely on, and interact with scientific knowledge, and 2) an analysis of how these inputs may be applied as tribunals take decisions on economic disputes. The analysis reflects on the impacts on the right to a fair trial and broader developments in global constitutionalism.