22 March 2007

Book Announcement: The International Judge

Here's an announcement of and an excerpt from a book that should be of relevance for those interested in judicial decision making at international courts and tribunals: "The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women Who Decide the World's Cases", by Daniel Terris, Cesare P.R. Romano and Leigh Swigart, University Press of New England / Oxford University Press 2007 (forthcoming). (via the Loyola Law School of Los Angeles Legal Studies Paper Series on SSRN).

This is the abstract:

This paper contains excerpts from the Introduction and Chapter 4 of the forthcoming book: Terris, D./Romano, C./Swigart, L., The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women who Decide the World's Cases, University Press of New England ? Oxford University Press, 2007 (forthcoming).

International judges have settled border disputes, put political leaders behind bars for the crime of genocide, protected individual citizens from human rights violations by their own governments, and ruled on trade disputes involving billions of dollars. The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women Who Decide the World's Cases, is the first in-depth examination of the individuals who hear and decide cases in an increasingly wide array of international courts and tribunals operating in the world today.

Critics have attacked international judges as radicals determined to undermine the independence of sovereign countries and accountable to no one. The International Judge reveals a more complex picture of men and women who have strengthened international law with a careful regard both for legal and political considerations and whose performance is guided by a powerful collective sense of the importance of their work. The courts that they have shaped are both innovative and fragile, the product of complex interactions and, of necessity, experiments in both law and the process of building global institutions. International courts, reflecting both the strengths and the weaknesses of the judges themselves, are profoundly human endeavors.

The heart of our primary research was a series of interviews (32), ranging from one to three hours in length, with judges from most of the courts and tribunals. These interviews, conducted from 2004 to 2006, covered a wide variety of topics, including the judges' own backgrounds and career developments, the process by which they were nominated and elected or appointed to the court, the routine of their work, their relationships among colleagues, their thoughts on key cases decided by their courts, the ways judgments are crafted, the relationship between law and politics, and issues of character and ethics.

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