How research impacts judges decisions

[Music] I’m deaf work and a professor of public international law at the University of Oxford and an academic affiliate at the bonagora Institute for Human Rights and I’m Malcolm Wallace I’m a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa and I’m a visitor to the Bonneville Institute of Human Rights doing research here Markham last year you were a judge in a case in South Africa where you decided that the South African government had an obligation to arrest the Sudanese President Omar al-bashir maybe you can tell us a bit about that case well it was he came to South Africa for an au conference a legal challenge was brought to say that the government was obliged to arrest him because it didn’t do so and he came to our court eventually Pete by then left the country and we held that under the statute under which South Africa acceded to the Rome convention the government was in fact obliged to cause him to be arrested pursuant to the ICC warrant and that this overrode or was preference to the statute that would ordinarily have vested him with diplomatic immunity as a hitter’s as a visiting head of state and as far as I’m aware this is the only time that a domestic court has dealt with this question and so not only does your judgment stand in South Africa it’s it’s as far as I know it’s still the only judgment in which this issue has been resolved and so it’s authoritative in in that sense too and in the judgment you relied on two articles that I have written on this issue because this is one of my areas of of research and I was and remain curious as to remain curious as to why you found those particular articles useful to you in your judgement well they were helpful because you had set out the the structure of the ICC how it worked with a reference from the Security Council which this one was one of only two some of the problems that arose from that reference about immunity and the arguments in favor of immunity and article 98 and the earlier article had been specifically about president al-bashir and immunity so they converged with the very problem before the court and provided a useful and very informative structure and background to the problem we were reading as a judge you have a choice as to the materials that you refer to obviously you refer to two previous cases and there are other things that you might choose to refer to and I wonder what it is that might sort of draw your attention to a particular piece of academic writing what are you looking for what do you find helpful in academic writing and what advice do you have for academics who might hope to to speak beyond academia speak to the judiciary what are the sort of things they should be thinking about that they’re they’re doing their research and doing their writing obviously the first thing is clarity and comprehensiveness of expression but most importantly if you’re going to want the the judge and if you’re talking about the judge you’re really talking about also the profession the practitioner if you want them to pay attention to what you’re writing you have to write to or address the situations that they are going to encounter we don’t by and large have the time to be philosophers of the law who leave that for the the jurisprudence and and so on where we’re in the business of dealing with specific cases and specific problems you [Music]

Related posts

  • An introduction to academic writing

    hi my name is John Connor Oskie I’m an English as a foreign language instructor here at the National University of Science and Technology new species in…

  • Youth debate human rights issues

    well lender reform free education and Human Rights came under the spotlight at the Sanger high school in Ananda kwazulu-natal on human rights day now the…

  • Research: controversial issues topics

    so when it comes to controversial issues and researching them we do have two resources here that are specific to that they are opposing viewpoints in…