Postnational Justice: Honduras Looks to Outsource Appeals to Mauritius (and London)

Postnational Justice: Honduras Looks to Outsource Appeals to Mauritius (and London)

From the Guardian, an account that even an academic would have a hard time making up: Honduras may allow for extraterritorial appeals in some number of jurisdictions, amounting to “semi-independent city-states,” established to improve investment appeal:

The complex constitutional agreement under discussion involves Mauritius – an island 10,000 miles away in the Indian Ocean – guaranteeing the legal framework of the courts in the development zones, known locally as La Región Especial de Desarrollo (RED).

Mauritius, a member of the Commonwealth, still uses the privy council in Westminster as a final court of appeal. Consequently any cases originating in Honduras could progress to the appeal courts in Mauritius and eventually reach the judicial committee of the privy council in London.

If this sets a precedent, the possibilities are pretty much endless. The article does note that the privy council has otherwise seen a decline in business, as Caribbean countries opted out from Commonwealth jurisdiction by way of preserving their use of the death penalty. It also notes that the scheme may be limited to investment disputes, so in some ways it’s not much different than using ICC-type arbitration. But the proposal would seem to introduce new possibilities for national courts. If British justice is reliable justice, consider it a new-world export market.

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Eugene Kontorovich

The question is which way outsourcing will work. High-value cases like investment disputes may be “upsourced” to better legal systems. At the same time we see nations “downsource” piracy prosecutions to Kenyan and Seychelles, less developed legal system.

Of course the next logical step it outsourcing incarceration too, though I doubt internationalists will find that as appealing.