Mastering the Evidence: Improving Fact Finding by International Courts

30 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020

See all articles by Cymie R. Payne

Cymie R. Payne

Rutgers University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law, Camden

Date Written: December 29, 2011

Abstract

Although international courts increasingly must resolve transboundary conflicts over natural resources and environmental pollution, international judges have limited assistance to adequately review voluminous and complex scientific evidence that is often submitted with these disputes, potentially constraining their assessment of the factual record, and consequently undermining confidence in their judgments and the development of their jurisprudence. Special masters have been used successfully by the United States Supreme Court to manage the portion of its docket where it, like the international courts, acts as a trial court whose judgments are final and without appeal. This Article explains the master’s role and how masters might provide a solution for international courts, particularly but not exclusively the International Court of Justice. It also draws on international experience to suggest a variation on the standard scope of a master. It concludes that special masters will be particularly useful and flexible aids when international courts and tribunals face extensive or highly specialized evidence and resolution of the dispute rests on resolving the parties’ factual differences.

Keywords: international courts, International Court of Justice, evidence

Suggested Citation

Payne, Cymie R. and Payne, Cymie R., Mastering the Evidence: Improving Fact Finding by International Courts (December 29, 2011). Environmental Law, Vol. 41, No. 1191, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3724111

Cymie R. Payne (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law, Camden

Camden, NJ
United States

Rutgers University ( email )

55 Dudley Rd
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cymiepayne.org

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