The New Apologists: The International Court of Justice and Human Rights
Retfærd, vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 49-78
16 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2015 Last revised: 27 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 5, 2015
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is typically known for its conservatism and formalism rather than its advancement of human rights. At the turn of the Century, realist scholars predicted the Court’s eventual decline while rational choice institutionalists projected only a role within more technical and reciprocal fields of international law. However, the Court’s recent jurisprudence in human rights has been heralded by a significant and diverse group of scholars. This new apology for the ICJ is critically examined in this paper. With the use of quantitative and qualitative methods, it examines the Court’s independence, its doctrinal responsiveness, and broader effectiveness. While the new apologists are right to point to a human rights turn, the paper strikes a much more cautious stance on both its nature and scope.
Keywords: International Court of Justice, Human Rights, International Law, Realism, Institutionalism, Judicial Independence, Adjudicative Responsiveness, Effectiveness
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