Judicial Impartiality in International Courts
The Culture of Judicial Independence 318-339 (Shetreet ed. Brill 2014)
22 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 17, 2013
The essence of the Rule of Law is ordering affairs according to principle rather than prerogative. Thus the essence of judging is decision-making dominated by principle rather than preference. It would be foolhardy to expect any human to exclude preference entirely from her decision processes, but the dominant concern when confronted with a problem or a dispute must be principle gleaned from some recognized authoritative source, not the judge’s own preferences or national identity. Therein lies a challenge for judges of the many proliferating international courts. As others have pointed out, the initial assumption behind the creation of international courts was that judges would be selected by nationality and that balance in the court would be achieved by balancing the nationalities of the panels. If the world is to take the Rule of Law seriously, it is time to abandon that assumption in favor of professional standards by which each judge is assessed according to his or her performance on the basis of principle above national preference.
Keywords: judiciary, international judges
JEL Classification: K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation