Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Foreign Precedents and the US Supreme Court

Foreign Precedents and the US Supreme Court

With many thanks to Alice Dong of Legal Affairs for the following worthwhile tip:

"I think you might be interested in a forum just published in Legal Affairs magazine between Richard Posner and Vicki Jackson about the Supreme Court and international law.

Here's Posner's piece:

Here's Jackson's:".

Indeed, the Legal Affairs pieces referred to by Alice present excellent counterposed analyses of the pros and cons of this increasingly recurring modern jurisprudential question.

Posner identifies the issue as follows:

"THE QUESTION FOR THIS DEBATE is: "Should foreign or international legal decisions ever be considered relevant to United States Supreme Court rulings?" Alternatively but equivalently: "In what circumstances, if any, should the United States Supreme Court cite a decision by an international or other foreign court?"

Jackson writes pro, e.g.:

"Legal education is just beginning to recognize the importance of offering training in understanding foreign and international law."

Posner writes contra, e.g.:

"The problem is not learning from abroad; it is treating foreign judicial decisions as authorities in U.S. cases, as if the world were a single legal community."

The issues discussed are not merely theoretical legal exercises, but reflect the ongoing and surely inevitable globalization of the world. A great read.

Detainee Cases Decided by US Supreme Court

Detainee Cases Decided by US Supreme Court

See SCOTUSBlog for a discussion of and links to news media reports on the recent US Supreme Court decisions in the detainee cases (1, 2 and 3, 4).

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