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The Making of International Criminal JusticeThe View from the Bench: Selected Speeches$
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Theodor Meron

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608935.001.0001

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The Role of Judges in Public Life

The Role of Judges in Public Life

(p.267) 25 The Role of Judges in Public Life
The Making of International Criminal Justice

Theodor Meron

Oxford University Press

This chapter lays out a framework for considering different aspects of public life, and identifies considerations that should attend judges' participation in these. Judges are called on to exercise continuous discretion in preserving a sense of judicial independence and impartiality. Outside influences and rules — such as those involved in the process of judicial appointment or election — can also heavily impact the ability of a judge to behave in an impartial and independent manner. The level of detail that these rules go into, or should go into, and when it is better to rely instead on judges' personal sense of what is appropriate, are subjects on which there can be many views. Whatever the ideal level of detail for rules affecting their conduct, judges are entitled — and, in fact, should lobby — to ensure that these rules are formed or amended to promote judicial independence. But in the final analysis, it is always the individual judge, whatever the context, who remains responsible for acting in a way that reflects the significance of the office he or she holds.

Keywords:   judges, judicial independence, public life, impartiality

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