This article deals with transitional justice as illustrated by the lustration cases in post-communist countries. In their tansformative process towards democracy, these latter have faced the challenge of finding a balance between different and competing rationals for lustration. The first one is an extensive approach in dealing with the totalitarian past, by prosecuting on a large scale the largest number of persons that collaborated with the communist regime, and by imposing harsh penalties. It represents a radical, revolutionary approach trying to impose the extraordinary means adequate to the transitory period, and hence it stresses the dominance of public interest over individual rights. The second approach necessitates the respect of the new democratic values and standards and imposes the compliance with fundamental principles of human rights. The author emphasizes the role of the constitutional judge in imposing the limits of the lustration procedure and in forming a new axiology of the transition society, based on the proporionnality methodology. The author concludes that only such a very well balanced attitude manifested by the series of the judgments of the constitutional court would allow a real revolutionary and radical breach of the totalitarian past.
The paper analyses the experience of nine European countries in developing ways of evaluating judicial activity within the context of courts and responsible authorities, whether ministries or judicial councils. Recognising that the judicial and executive branches bring very different traditions and expectations to evaluation, a theoretical base is developed by elaborating the notions of authority and accountability. These are not the exclusive domains of judges and managers respectively, since each can be seen to be authoritative and accountable in different ways. Both are authorised by and accountable to a sovereign people, and yet these people are conceived in multiple and often contradictory guises, as taxpayers, citizens and parties before the court. Practices in each of the countries under discussion revealed some common problems and uncommon successes. Conflict results when managers apply quantitative output measures, and in response judges insist on legal principles such as judicial independence as a shield against a misconceived accountability. Attempts to refine the measures without reconceptualising the task lead to ritualism that fails to achieve any improvements in either performance or understanding. Complaints mechanisms, opinion polls and ombudsman schemes give some insights into common perceptions of poor judicial performance, including delay and impartiality compromised by close relations between judges and lawyers representing particular parties. However, such methods offer limited scope for improving performance. Initiatives that demonstrated such improvements were characterised by successful collaboration between judges, managers and the public. Court users, parliaments or groups representing popular or outside interests had, on occasion, been able to act as circuit breakers in the zero-sum games between judges and managers. Open communication between key players in the courts and justice systems contributed to innovative approaches to evaluation. The study draws attention to effective responses to concerns expressed by a court monitoring group over judicial impartiality in the Netherlands. Gains were made in collaboration at national and district levels in Demark, when parliamentary guidelines gave direction to judges, auditors and executive managers to identify improved ways of operating for particular district courts. In a Finnish local initiative judges took the lead to work with lawyers and managers to identify areas for improvement in important areas including consistency in sentencing and better written judgments. In each of these cases, far from monitoring and evaluating for their own sake, successful initiatives identify and improve crucial areas of judicial activity
This paper presents the findings of a qualitative, empirical study on the distribution of cases among judges in six European countries. Case assignment is one of the main issues of court organizations, because it touches upon some of the essential aspects of rendering justice: judicial independence and impartiality, court flexibility and efficiency. This research was organized around four main issues: a) institutional court settings of the nations considered in this study, b) principles and general rules applicable to internal case assignment in the judicial systems included in this examination, c) internal court organization related to case assignment rules, practices and instruments, d) internal case assignment systems, which explores in some detail the practice of case assignment in the courts. The research shows that case assignment is the product of a process that balances the values of judicial impartiality and court organisation efficiency. In this article we present the factors affecting this process and the main differences between the countries of our sample. According to the research findings, one priority dominates the case assignment systems in all the countries of our sample: balancing the caseload amongst judges in terms of quantity and quality of cases.
Judicial cooperation and judicial dialogue is not just a question of studying and citing judgments from other courts. A genuine dialogue requires some reciprocity and an exchange of views and experiences. The E.C.J., for its part, is actively engaged in an on-going series of contacts and discussions with other courts and their judges. Judge Rosas provides a taxonomy of various patterns of judicial dialogue, and sketches the role of the ECJ therein.
Interpreting European Law: Judicial Adjudication in a Context of Constitutional Pluralism Miguel Poiares Maduro* There is an emerging body of literature which describes a context of constitutional pluralism, in particular by reference to the EU legal order and its relationship with national legal orders. Usually such constitutional pluralism identifies the phenomenon of a plurality of constitutional sources which creates a context of potential constitutional conflicts between different constitutional orders to be solved in a non-hierarchical manner.
The point of judicial review in Europe is to legally institutionalize a practice of Socratic contestation. Socratic contestation refers to the practice of critically engaging authorities, in order to assess whether the claims they make are based on good reasons. This practice, described most vividly in the early Platonic dialogues, shares many features with judicial review and raises some of the same questions. For one, neither is legalist. In constitutional rights law, the proportionality requirement, which is a defining feature of what I call the Rationalist Human Rights Paradigm (RHRP), requires open engagement with questions of policy and justice. Yet the reasoning courts engage, like Socratic elenctic reasoning, is relatively pedestrian and craftsmen-like and does not generally require the talents of philosopher kings or Herculean demi-gods. Socrates, who claimed to know nothing and Judges, who only claim to know the law, in practice turn out to be quite effective at uncovering basic mistakes in the justifications advanced by the party whose claim is at issue. Legally institutionalised Socratic contestation is well suited to address a wide range of pathologies that occasionally infest the political process, ranging from 1. complacent thoughtlessness brought about by habit, convention or tradition, 2. deciding on grounds that are inappropriate in a liberal democracy or 3. succumbing to ideology. Furthermore Socratic contestation is a practice that gives institutional expression to the idea that all legitimate authority depends on being grounded in public reasons, that is, justifiable to others on grounds they might reasonably accept. Judicial review as Socratic contestation is attractive both because it leads to better outcomes and because it reflects deep commitments of liberal democracy. Socrates claimed that a polity that takes pride in self-government, should accord him a place of honor , instead of trying to silence him. The same is true for legally institutionalised Socratic contestation.
In the first years after the fall of communism, constitutional courts in Central and Eastern Europe undertook a crucial role in the political, economic and social reforms of their respective countries. As in other European countries after the Second World War, these courts in CEE were seen as factors of democratization whose main task was the observance of constitutionalism and the rule of law. After the first years of judicial activism which were mainly related to internal reforms and fashioning of a new democratic system, these courts turned into important actors of the European integration process, by rendering landmark decisions related to the interaction between their national legal order and European law. This paper deals in particular with a series of decisions in the context of national law-European law relations, by paying specific attention to the reception by these courts of the principle of supremacy of European law. The main finding of this paper is that constitutional courts of CEE have taken quite an equilibrated stance towards European integration: generally speaking, their rhetoric is characterized by a Euro-friendly discourse in the pre-accession period which, after the enlargement was complemented by a set of controlimi generally derived from their own constitutions and well-established constitutional traditions.
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bernhardt is the former President and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (France) and former Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg (Germany). The interview was held at the European University Institute, Florence (Italy) in German and English.
Il ruolo dei giudici, sia internazionali che nazionali, nella rilevazione e nell’applicazione delle norme internazionali è cresciuto enormemente negli ultimi decenni. Per quanto riguarda i tribunali internazionali, la loro moltiplicazione a livello universale e soprattutto regionale è sotto gli occhi di tutti; né è il caso di fornirne qui l’elenco. A loro volta, e via che il diritto internazionale va estendendo il suo campo d’azione alle materie che direttamente riguardano gli individui all’interno delle varie comunità statali, i giudici nazionali intervengono in sempre maggiore misura con decisioni che si basano sul diritto internazionale.
This article analyses the relationship between Courts and tribunals in the interpretation and application of international law. The goal here is of crucial importance: that of guaranteeing the unity of international law and avoid fragmentation. This relationship is considered at two levels. The first level is vertical: how do national courts perceive and react to international law? In an ideal approach, based on a federalist model, there would be an organic hierarchy insuring that national judges accept and apply international law, under the control of the relevant international jurisdictions. If this model is not a reality today, it is misguided to believe that there are not any signs of its possible future realisation. Inspired by George Scelle’s role splitting theory, according to which national institutions act as the agents of the international legal order, this article shows the multiplicity of cases where the local judge is indeed directly called upon to give effect to international law. Classical institutions, such as the exhaustion of local remedies, but mostly new developments linked to the institutionalisation of the international community, in fields such as peace and security, the multilateralisation of obligations and its consequences on state responsibility, or even more recent innovations in international criminal law, illustrate the articulation of the international and national legal orders. The second level is horizontal: what is the relationship of international jurisdictions between themselves, and more specifically, what is the role of the ICJ within the international legal order? This article first shows that there is no formally recognised primacy of the ICJ over other courts and tribunals. On the contrary, several sub-orders of the international legal order (ECHR, WTO, EU…) give exclusive jurisdiction to the tribunals they create. The ICJ has generally avoided, except in rare cases (February 2007, Genocide Case), pronouncing itself directly on decisions from other Courts. Still remains to be answered the theoretical question of the relationship of the ICJ with other jurisdictions. It appears that referring to general principles of procedural law (lis pendens, res iudicata) borrowed from national laws is of limited use, given that what makes these tools effective in national systems (i.e, its integrated nature), is specifically what is missing at the international level. What this article argues, is that the unity of international law will ultimately depend on the openness and good will of the judges. At the national level, it requires judges to acknowledge the evolutions of international law, as they have done in Italy in the Ferrini case where the jus cogens nature of the breached norm led the court to set aside the application of State immunity. At the international level, it requires of specialized judges to accept that the lex specialis they apply does not exist in a void and must be read in light of general international law. It also calls upon the ICJ to not hope to be granted a formal authority over other courts, but rather to reinforce its moral authority by pronouncing itself on, and advancing, the scope and interpretation of international law, at every opportunity.
This contribution argues that the universal recognition of human rights requires judges to take human rights more seriously in their judicial settlement of disputes “in conformity with the principles of justice and international law”, as prescribed in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Preamble VCLT) as well as in the UN (United Nations) Charter (Article 1). Section I explains the constitutional duty of judges to interpret law and settle disputes in conformity with principles of justice as increasingly defined by human rights. Section II argues that the ‘multilevel judicial governance’ in Europe – notably between the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and its Court of First Instance, the EC courts and national courts, the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Court and national courts, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and national courts - was successful due to the fact that this judicial cooperation was justified as multilevel protection of constitutional citizen rights and, mainly for this reason, was supported as ‘just’ by judges, citizens and parliaments. Section III concludes that the European ‘Solange-method’ of judicial cooperation ‘as long as’ other courts respect constitutional principles of justice should be supported by citizens, judges, civil society and their democratic representatives also in judicial cooperation with worldwide courts and dispute settlement bodies. As explained in Section IV, in a world that continues to be dominated by power politics and by reasonable ‘constitutional pluralism’, it is easier for international judges to meet their obligation to settle disputes “in conformity with principles of justice” if courts cooperate and base their ‘judicial discourses’ on ‘public reason’, respect for human rights and judicial protection of the constitutional principles underlying human rights law.
The thrust of this Paper is to analyse the transformation of international custom construction and creation from the model of state practice supported by opinio iuris to a new concept reflected in the judicial decision of the international criminal tribunals, with the main emphasis being on the case law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The following questions are examined in analysing the interpretation, application, and in some instances, also the creation of customary international norms: from which sources do the judges look for evidence of customary international law? Is the requisite of actual state practice diminishing? What is the significance of international treaties, reports of international committees, and international case-law as sources of custom? Does the case law of the tribunals show that the role of the judge is more prevalent than traditionally in the formation of customary international law, at least in the area of international criminal law? The first part of the paper offers an analysis of customary law in the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg, which, along with many post-Second World War legal instruments, case law, and academic commentary, has contributed to and clarified the content of customary norms in international criminal law. The second part reviews the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in relation to the concept, formation, and context of customary norms. In addition, the aim is to examine if the approach of the Tribunal on the construction of customary norms has changed during its period of functioning. The role of the judge in construction and in some instances, creation of customary international norms is discussed with references to the judicial decisions of the Yugoslavia Tribunal. I conclude that the dynamic approach adopted by judges in the construction of customary law in some cases of the Yugoslavia Tribunal is not unprecedented in the decisions of international courts. The third part discusses the problem of conflicting norms that may arise in the application and construction of customary criminal norms in international criminal tribunals. First, I conduct a limited conceptual and historical analysis of the principles of legality, the nullum crimen sine lege and the nulla poena sine lege principles, and I attempt to answer the substantive issues: how can the principles of legality be retained in the application of customary international norms by the international judge, and whether the progressive formation of custom (moving away from the requirement of ‘constant and uniform state practice’ supported by opinio iuris) destabilises legal certainty, which should be especially endorsed when an individual’s (here meaning the accused) freedom is at issue? The final dilemma in relation to conflicting norms is that of deducing international criminal norms that give rise to individual criminal responsibility directly from treaties that were intended to be applied between the state parties. I conclude this paper by stating that the judges not only interpret, but also have an impact on the formation of customary international law because their decisions can be seen as evidence of (international) practice or as a reflection of opinio juris. Finally, this paper shows that there is a definite need for greater consistency in the formation of customary international norms in international criminal tribunals.
El examen de las particularidades del ejercicio de la función jurisdiccional en una sociedad globalizada se articula en torno a tres notas esenciales que definen a todo juez: como un poder especialmente limitado a la solución de problemas concretos, en la medida en que utiliza un lenguaje jurídico muy particular, y por la peculiar manera de justificación del juez que emplea una argumentación en la que razona sobre de las distintas opciones posibles y motiva por qué ha elegido una de ellas como la más apropiada para el caso planteado. Para hacer este análisis se tiene en cuenta la experiencia europea e intenta proyectarse ésta en un mundo en el que un sedicente cosmopolitismo judicial debería caracterizarse por la creación de ‘contextos deliberativos comunicantes’. El poder del juez europeo tiene su origen, en primer lugar, en los sucesivos procesos de constitucionalización del ordenamiento jurídico, tanto en el ámbito nacional interno cuyos procesos en las últimas cinco décadas son paulatinos y por oleadas en todos los países europeos, consagrándose, por lo general, una especial vigilancia de los respectivos Tribunales constitucionales nacionales. A continuación, la aplicación judicial del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos por el Tribunal de Estrasburgo y la interpretación del Derecho de la Unión Europea por el Tribunal de Justicia de Luxemburgo han consolidado este proceso de constitucionalización, en distintos niveles y con distintos efectos, confiriendo poderes extraordinarios a los jueces nacionales, apoderados para salvaguardar los derechos fundamentales y para aplicar el Derecho comunitario europeo, de manera efectiva y prioritaria respecto de las Constituciones y de las leyes de los Derechos nacionales. La democratización del lenguaje judicial y la mayor exigencia de motivación y de argumentación de las decisiones judiciales han producido una convergencia de los distintos modelos jurídico-culturales de jueces en Europa, tal como se observa en la propia práctica del Tribunal Europeo de Estrasburgo, con una importante impronta anglosajona, y del Tribunal de Justicia de Luxemburgo, con una inicial ascendencia francesa y manifestación, en definitiva, de la cultura jurídica europea. El avance del diálogo judicial en Europa constituye un estímulo y una vía abierta para alcanzar un cosmopolitismo judicial caracterizado por un diálogo entre los jueces y por la creación de contextos deliberativos comunicantes. No obstante, frente a esta tendencia se observan preocupantes muestras de provincianismo jurídico, como es el caso del proyecto de ley norteamericana, Constitution Restauration Act de 2005, y como lo acredita una falta de adaptación a los nuevos tiempos de las jurisdicciones internacionales, que no tienen una masa crítica de casos y que no terminan por avalar una decidida participación y por conferir un protagonismo a los individuos, a las personas físicas y jurídicas. En la era de la globalización sólo cabe que los jueces sitúen a los ciudadanos en el centro de sus preocupaciones y en la clave para la resolución de los litigios, para hacer cosas con casos.
Une attitude simple et naïve conduirait à poser la question dans les termes suivants: est il conforme au principe démocratique que les procès ne soient pas tranchés par le peuple, comme dans certaines démocraties antiques mais par des juges? On présupposerait qu’on est placé dans une situation originelle et que sur le point d’instituer un système démocratique, on hésite à confier la solution des procès à des juges plutôt qu’au peuple lui-même. Bien entendu, personne ne pose une question pareille et il n’y a aujourd’hui aucun système au monde dans lequel les procès seraient tranchés par le peuple. Mais la question elle-même perd de sa naïveté dès lors que l’on se demande si le pouvoir de trancher les procès, qui est confié à des juges professionnels, fait d’eux ‘un pouvoir’ et dans l’affirmative si ce pouvoir est compatible avec la démocratie. Il faut repousser la tentation de chercher à résoudre le problème en examinant la nature du pouvoir judiciaire, puis celle de la démocratie, car la réponse dépendrait du choix des définitions, c’est-à-dire des conceptions relatives à l’essence de la démocratie et du pouvoir judiciaire. Si, par conséquent, on entend éviter la métaphysique, il convient de se cantonner à un plan purement descriptif et de partir d’une constatation: soit parce que certaines constitutions instituent expressément un pouvoir judiciaire et proclament leur caractère démocratique, soit parce qu’ils souhaitent reconnaître l’existence d’un pouvoir judiciaire tout en s’affirmant démocrates, un grand nombre de juristes soutiennent la thèse de la compatibilité. Pour cela, ils avancent un certain nombre de définitions et d’arguments Ce sont ces thèses qu’il s’agit d’examiner, en vue d’analyser les stratégies et les contraintes argumentatives qui conduisent à les adopter. Les auteurs soutiennent d’abord qu’il n’y a pas de pouvoir judiciaire, mais comme l’expression “pouvoir judiciaire” a dans la langue juridique deux sens principaux: un sens fonctionnel “l’ensemble des actes par lesquels sont jugés les procès” et un sens organique “un ensemble de tribunaux présentant certaines propriétés structurelles”, la thèse de l’absence de pouvoir judiciaire se décompose en deux: il n’y a pas de pouvoir judiciaire au sens organique; les juges exercent une fonction qui ne leur confère pas un véritable pouvoir. De plus en plus fréquemment, lorsque ces deux arguments échouent on a recours à un troisième: il peut y avoir un pouvoir judiciaire, mais la démocratie n’est pas ce qu’un vain peuple pense. Elle ne saurait être identifiée vulgairement au pouvoir de la majorité. La véritable démocratie, c’est le pouvoir judiciaire.
Les critiques que la pensée juridique a adressées au positivisme juridique ont généralement été basées sur son approche insuffisante de l'opération de juger, souvent qualifiée de trop formaliste. La critique faite par Dworkin à Hart est l'expression contemporaine la plus connue de cette tentative. Cependant, nous voudrions montrer que certaines reformulations pragmatistes récentes de l'approche positiviste du concept de droit permettent de jeter un double éclairage sur l’argumentation, essentiellement herméneutique, de Dworkin. D’abord, cet examen permet de comprendre pourquoi le tournant "herméneutique" et, plus généralement, la place centrale qu’il donne à la fonction interprétative du juge ratent leur cible. Ensuite, et même surtout, cet examen permet de montrer comment cette focalisation sur le juge constitue une tache aveugle à la fois pour l’approche herméneutique et l’approche positiviste (en ce compris - nous le verrons - dans la reformulation pragmatiste) et en quoi elle génère également une commune insuffisance dans leur compréhension même du concept de droit. Cette focalisation est l'indice du maintien, au sein de ces approches et malgré leur volonté contraire, d'un présupposé sémantique qui les amène à supposer possible une formalisation des conditions de réalisation du concept de droit. Or, cette tentative de formalisation semble une voie sans issue. Pour le montrer, nous analyserons en détail le raisonnement qui a récemment conduit à la reformulation pragmatiste du concept de droit et nous relèverons ses limitations internes. Il nous restera alors à indiquer les raisons pour lesquelles la philosophie du droit a tout à gagner si elle accepte d’intégrer, dans une perspective génétique, certaines analyses récentes de la question de la gouvernance
According to the theory of speech acts, speech is a kind of action. He, who says something, does something. Certainly, when a judge or a court makes a decision, he or it says something. He performs some (locutionary) acts like uttering or writing some sentences. However, there is something further he does, namely, by uttering or writing some sentences in the appropriate context, he makes a judicial decision. In a judicial decision the judge says something about the law, the facts of the case, and the consequences that the legal system imputes to the parties, in the most cases, the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. How does the judge saying the things he does bring it about that he has adjudicated a case? More specifically, what kind of speech acts, or more precisely, illocutionary acts, does he perform, and what is their relation to the adjudication? As these questions indicate, the aim of this paper is to give an account of judicial decisions from the point of view of the theory of speech acts. This account can contribute to two different projects at the same time. On the one hand, it can help to explain the nature and the structure of judicial decisions, as a set of sentences uttered by the judge which constitute a set of speech acts. This promises to be a fruitful way to determine what a judicial decision is and what kind of structure it has. In addition to this, as we will see, a speech act analysis can explain the criteria used to evaluate judicial decisions. This analysis will make clear that a judicial decision is a highly complex logical sequence of illocutionary acts, or to put it in a more precise way, of speech acts with several illocutionary forces. Consequently, it is possible to evaluate these speech acts, from a variety of points of view: truth or falsity, correctness or incorrectness, and validity or invalidity. On the other hand, this account can also contribute to the theory of the speech acts by providing an analysis of speech acts which occur in the highly institutionalized context of judicial decisions. Such an account can contribute to how the theory of speech acts explains the relationship between language and reality, and in particular how by having certain status functions certain speech acts can not just reflect but change reality.
Le droit est raison et il s’oppose aux émotions : il ne peut être justement rendu s’il a succombé à la passion. Cette lecture classique des relations entre droit, émotions et justice n’est pas si certaine. L’émotion est probablement nécessaire à la justice. La colère est indispensable à la justice. Dans une décision sur une affaire d’inceste rendue par la Cour suprême du Canada, le plus haut tribunal du pays, il est possible de retracer l’émergence et le déploiement de la colère des juges envers les faits en cause, envers les autres juges, envers les conceptions de la justice et envers le droit lui-même. La méthode développée permet alors d’étudier les traces de la colère dans le processus du jugement et de rendre l’émotion visible. La passion des juges alors dévoilée, et jugée à son tour, démontre tout le caractère persuasif et conquérant de la colère, celle qui est un appel, celle qui recherche l’adhésion.