International Courts in their Social & Political Contexts
International courts (ICs) are situated very differently, both in time and social and political space. While many ICs are relatively new, several have been operating for more than half a century and have changed significantly over time. The circumstances of their creation and evolution also vary significantly. This symposium invites a group of sociological, legal, and political science scholars, each with deep expertise on a specific international judicial system. By investigating how the external context is important for each participant’s institution of study, our goal is to collectively theorize about the importance of variations in legal, social and political factors that shape the operation of ICs.
The symposium will focus mostly on the external context in which each court operates rather than on context internal to the court itself, such as the interactions between judges, prosecutors, and registrars. External context is vitally important to how ICs function and evolve. All international judges must attentive to how their rulings will be received by governments, political leaders, interests groups, and potential litigants. The scholars in this symposium will explore how these and other external factors shape a court’s legal and political development.