Escaping the Cult of the Robe: International Judges as Individuals

ACIL Annual Research Day: Professor Neha Jain

Datum en tijd:
19 mei 2021 15:30 - 17:00 uur


This lecture interrogates what the structure, role, and influence of international courts would look like if one took seriously the phenomenon of judges as individuals. International judges speak and act separately from the courts on which they sit in a number of formal and informal ways. This includes delivering written and oral dissents, posing questions from the bench, engaging in media appearances, and penning memoirs. I argue that understanding the reasons behind and potential effects of different ways of speaking and acting separately is central to a comprehensive evaluation of the role that judges—as individuals—do and should play within society, domestic or international. Moreover, mapping what judges are actually doing—on and off the bench—improves our ability to weigh the tradeoffs embodied in particular design choices for international judicial institutions and ethical rules. The lecture will draw on the law and practice of separate judicial speech at a range of tribunals to identify the stakes of being attentive to separate judicial behaviour and map the range of consequences that separate judicial practices may have.

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