New Report Issued on North American Judicial Colloquium

April 29, 2009


Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society has released a new report on the North American Judicial Colloquium, which in November 2008 brought together national judges with their international counterparts to weigh the influence of international law on domestic courts. Called “What Can International and Domestic Judges Learn from One Another?” the colloquium hosted eight judges from the United States, seven from Canada, and three from international courts.

To download a complete copy of the report, click the cover at right. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of the report:

From November 6 to 8, 2008, the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life of Brandeis University hosted the North American Judicial Colloquium, which was convened by Phillip Rapoza, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Lynn Smith, Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Fifteen domestic judges came from across Canada and the United States, representing courts at the provincial, state, and federal levels. International judges in attendance represented the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Caribbean Court of Justice. Presenters included law specialists from Canada, the United States, and South Africa. Over three days, all participants shared their experiences and expertise through group discussions, engaging in an important form of what has come to be known as “judicial dialogue.”

This was the third such colloquium organized by Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society to bring together domestic and international judges. The idea grew out of the Brandeis Institute for International Judges, a regularly occurring event that convenes judges from across the spectrum of international courts and tribunals to discuss critical issues concerning the theory and practice of international justice. BIIJ organizers had observed that participating judges frequently remarked upon the important role to be played by national judiciaries in firmly establishing international law across the globe. In response, Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society decided to bring international judges together with their national counterparts for dialogue about the increasing interconnections that exist between international and national justice. Judges in the Brandeis network agreed that the opportunity for international and national judges to discuss the challenges and benefits of such interconnections, in an intimate and informal setting, would benefit all concerned.