Judicial Policy-Making at the International Criminal Court: An Institutional Guide to Analyzing International Adjudication

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The role of the eighteen judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an under-explored yet critical topic for followers, both opponents and proponents alike, of the Rome Statute. However, the scarcity of analysis regarding the potential for judicial policy-making at the ICC is symptomatic of a larger problem: there is no general theory of judging in the international context. This Article examines the role of the judge in international adjudication by canvassing literature and case-studies on the structural and cultural factors that influence judicial policy-making in national and international courts and applying the derived lessons to the ICC. In addition, the professional norms shared by the community of ICC judges will be examined for their impact on the exercise of judicial discretion. More generally, this Article will attempt to forward the project of forming a theory of judicial policy-making in the course of international adjudication.