Jeffrey L. Dunoff and Mark A. Pollack's article is an important and very welcome contribution to the discussion about judicial values. The authors argue that with respect to judicial independence, transparency, and accountability “judicial systems face inherent trade-offs, such that any given court can maximize two, but not all three, of these features.” In our eyes, the article's most important contribution is its holistic view: it shows why these three judicial values can only be understood in their interconnectedness. It is, for instance, not meaningful to make a statement about the correlation between transparency and independence without also taking accountability into the equation. This is because the effect of transparency on independence can only be understood if information about judicial accountability is at one's disposal. In the past, these judicial values have often been analyzed in an isolated manner, thereby leading to wrong conclusions. The Judicial Trilemma will hopefully help in shifting the discourse from isolated to holistic views on independence, transparency, and accountability. Moreover, Dunoff and Pollack lay the groundwork for a meaningful normative discussion of these three judicial values. Any debate about how to structure (international) courts should henceforth take Dunoff and Pollack's holistic view as a basis for discussion.
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