Judicial Impartiality in International Courts

The Culture of Judicial Independence 318-339 (Shetreet ed. Brill 2014)

22 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2016

See all articles by Wayne McCormack

Wayne McCormack

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: August 17, 2013

Abstract

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

McCormack, Wayne, Judicial Impartiality in International Courts (August 17, 2013). The Culture of Judicial Independence 318-339 (Shetreet ed. Brill 2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2757703

Wayne McCormack (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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