Reflections on Judge Crawford’s Contributions to the International Court of Justice

In: The Australian Year Book of International Law Online
Rose Cameron Senior Legal Adviser, Victorian Department of Premier & Cabinet

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Julia Sherman Associate, Three Crowns LLP

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James Crawford was sworn in as a Judge of the International Court of Justice on 6 February 2015. In his nearly seven years on the bench, Judge Crawford made a significant contribution to the jurisprudence, the procedures, and the working environment of the Court. First, Judge Crawford’s declarations and separate and dissenting opinions are discussed in this article, as these best illustrate his personal contributions to the Court’s jurisprudence. Second, Judge Crawford propounded procedural change at the Court long before he joined its bench and he was able to make good on some of these proposals after joining the Court, in particular as a member of the Court’s Rules Committee. Amendments to the Rules of Court and the Court’s Practice Directions made during his time of the bench are discussed in this article, as well as Judge Crawford’s questions to parties during oral proceedings. Finally, this article recognises Judge Crawford’s enormous contribution to the working environment of the Court. He had a lightness that lifted the mood in the otherwise solemn corridors of the International Court. He strived to keep his own and—where possible—other staff happy and motivated. Judge Crawford’s support for the staff union was invaluable. These are just some examples of why Judge Crawford should be remembered for his kind temperament, his patience, and his generosity in mentoring aspiring international practitioners and scholars, over and above his professional achievements.

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