Prospects for the Increased Independence of International Tribunals
German Law Journal, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2011
26 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2011
In this essay we draw upon the theoretical and empirical literatures on the evolution of court independence within modern democratic states to identify aspects of their political environments that have fostered judicial independence at the domestic level. We then extend that analysis to examine the role that these or similar factors are likely to play in facilitating the independence and legitimacy of international tribunals at the global level. We focus on two such broad aspects of the global environment not normally associated with the independence of international tribunals: the extent of political division between states that are parties to an international tribunal (interstate competition), and the extent of political division within states between state executives and national courts (inter-branch competition). We suggest further that the conditions that facilitate independence have increased in recent years and are likely to continue to do so.
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