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Variations of conciliation are included in many instruments, particularly in multilateral agreements concerning the environment, human rights, international trade and investment protection. Conciliation is also used on an ad hoc basis for the resolution of disputes between States, such as in border conflicts. Nevertheless, the method is rarely studied in depth from either a legal or political aspect.
Focusing on conciliation in a broad sense (including variations of mediation, inquiry and non-compliance mechanisms), Sven Koopmans offers a timely discussion of non-binding dispute settlement between States. The book argues that the lack of familiarity with conciliation both causes its popularity in treaties and its difficulties in practice.
The author proposes a new way of looking at conciliation and at its potentials and restrictions, and assesses the usefulness of this way of settling disputes.