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This essay argues that the creation of the Inspection Panel (Panel) was an important international legal development. It was the first time that an international organization established a mechanism that enabled those communities and individuals who claimed they had been harmed by the decisions and actions of the international organization to hold the organization accountable. The creation of the Panel also promoted the role of non-state actors in making the soft international law that is applicable to the international financing of development projects. This essay will discuss each of these developments before drawing some conclusions about the Panel and international law.



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