Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ISA Round Table on Judicial Coordination and the Global Community of Courts: Critical Perspectives

National courts often use international norms in their decisions even when such norms have not been incorporated into their domestic legal systems. Judicial cross-fertilization also occurs as a result of mutual referencing of foreign decisions that have persuasive appeal, and through extensive networking initiatives. It is argued that this phenomenon signals the emergence of a "global community of courts" and the merging of international and domestic legal systems. To evaluate this claim, research needs to engage two types of questions with far reaching implications for politics and law. The first, empirical question is whether transjudicial cooperation is indeed a global trend: is it occurring across legal traditions and cultures? What motivates courts to turn to international and foreign law in reasoning their decisions? How do other actors outside the judiciary perceive this practice? The second, normative question is whether this observed merging of international and national law may take place in the absence of shared values, principles and normative underpinnings. In other words, even if empirically it can be shown that judicial cross-fertilization is global in scope, and that it may blur the distinctions between international and national law, what are the ethical implications of such developments?

Participants: Kerstin Blome (University Bremen), Charlotte Ku (Univerity of Illinios), Philip Liste (University of Hamburg), Andreas von Staden (University St Gallen), Chair: Antje Wiener (University of Hamburg)

The Round Table discussion is taking place at the ISA Annual Convention, Montreal, Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:30 AM
Room: Viger A