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Voting Behaviour and National Bias in the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2004


Independence and impartiality of the judiciary is a conditio sine qua non for confidence in, and the authority and success of, any judicial procedure. This article takes a close look at the voting patterns of the judges of two influential international tribunals: the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. To what extent do national judges (and judges ad hoc, in particular) vote consistently with the position of their national governments? By conducting a factual analysis of the voting behaviour of the judges, the present paper aims at drawing some tentative conclusions on the fulfilment of the requirements of independence and impartiality in the operation of these two distinguished courts. Of all influences to which men are subject, none is more powerful, more persvasive or more subtle than the tie of allegiance that binds them [judges] to the land of their homes and kindred and to the great sources of the honors and preferments for which they are so ready to spend their fortunes and to risk their lives.

© 1997 Kluwer Law International

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