The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women who Decide the World's Cases

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Over the last century, international law, once reserved for arcane matters of diplomacy and trade, has come to encompass a broad range of human experience and activity. In the wake of major historical developments, the nations of the world have created a new set of legal institutions designed to resolve disputes between global actors, to settle conflicts that might otherwise play out on the battlefield, and to offer the promise of justice to those who cannot find it within their own countries. The success of these institutions rests ultimately on the shoulders of just over 200 men and women who serve in a role unheard of less than a hundred years ago: the international judge.

In the United States, the work of international judges is poorly understood, and the institutions that they serve have been frequent targets of misinformed criticism. This volume corrects some of the common American misperceptions about international judges, while providing a balanced introduction to both the strengths and shortcomings of their work. As they rule on crucial issues of war and peace, human rights, and trade, in addition to high-profile criminal trials, international judges are playing a critical role in developments that will affect world affairs – and law and society in the United States -- for years to come.

Based on interviews with over 30 international judges, this volume is the first comprehensive portrait of the men and women in this new global profession. It begins with an overview of international courts and a profile of international judges as a group. The working environment of international judges is closely examined in courts around the world, highlighting the challenge of carrying out work in multiple languages, in the context of intricate bureaucratic hierarchies, and with a necessary interdependence between judges and their courts’ administration. Arguing that international judges have to balance their responsibilities as interpreters of the law and as global professionals, the authors discuss the challenges of working in the fluid circumstances of international courts. Profiles of five individual judges provide insight into the experience and dilemmas of the men and women on the international bench.
 

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Contents

Who Are They and How Do They
15
Navanethem Pillay Judge of the International Criminal Court 3 9
49
Thomas Buergenthal Judge of the International Court of Justice 9 2
102
Georges AbiSaab Member of the World Trade Organization
131
Between Law and Politics
147
Cecilia Medina Quiroga Judge of the InterAmerican Court
180
Tests of Character
191
John Hedigan Judge of the European Court of Human Rights
212
Conclusion
221
Appendix A Basics of International Courts
236
Appendix B Judges Interviewed for This Book
246
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
253
BIBLIOGRAPHY
285
INDEX
301
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About the author (2007)

DANIEL TERRIS is the Director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University and author of Ethics at Work: Creating Virtue in an American Corporation (Brandeis, 2005). CESARE P. R. ROMANO is Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and Assistant Director of the Project on International Courts and Tribunals. LEIGH SWIGART is an anthropologist and the Director of Programs in International Justice and Society at the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis.

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