Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Eric Posner Presentation at Columbia Law School

As a follow-up to Julian's earlier post, I wanted to note that one of the co-authors of the recent paper assessing bias at the ICJ, Prof. Eric Posner of ther University of Chicago School of Law, will be speaking on this topic at Columbia Law School in New York on January 24th at 4:10 pm. The talk will be in Jerome Greene Hall, Room 107.

Following is the abstract:
Abstract - The International Court of Justice has jurisdiction over disputes between nations, and has decided dozens of cases since it began operations in 1946. Its defenders argue that the ICJ decides cases impartially and confers legitimacy on the international legal system. Its critics argue that the members of the ICJ vote the interests of the states that appoint them. Prior empirical scholarship is ambiguous. We test the charge of bias using statistical methods. We find strong evidence that (1) judges favor the states that appoint them, and (2) judges favor states whose wealth level is close to that of the judges’ own state; and weaker evidence that (3) judges favor states whose political system is similar to that of the judges’ own state, and (4) (more weakly) judges favor states whose culture (language and religion) is similar to that of the judges’ own state. We find weak or no evidence that judges are influenced by regionaland military alignments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the essence of the problem, isn't it. There is a thing called "international law," but is it actually "law" as we understand it, or should it be studied as a phenomenon with different rules, not deserving of the respect (such as it is) that the word "law" normally evokes?

1/20/2005 4:40 PM  
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