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  • Author or Editor: Henrik Palmer Olsen x
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Ninety per cent of international courts’ (ICs) legal decisions have been issued within the last two decades. This increase in case law - along with other significant changes in the operation of ICs - signals a new form of judicialised international law. This change is best described as a shift from a 'static' regime of contractual relations between sovereign states to a more 'organic' regime of 'living law'. In criminal law, this development is exemplified by the reasoning of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC. In examining the institutional undercurrents that accompany these changes important questions arise: through what social processes is legitimacy imputed to ICs? How do ICs handle or avoid crises in legitimacy? In the context of recent critiques of judicial reasoning in international criminal law, the article suggests that the analysis of case law from ICs must become as dynamic and agile as contemporary international law itself.

In: International Criminal Law Review

In this article we investigate the relationship between the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights as it manifests in explicit cross-references between the two Courts’ jurisprudence. The analysis detects cross-references, how they are used and indications of converge or divergence in the jurisprudence through their explicit citations and references. Our dataset consists of the entire corpus of judgments from both Courts from 2009 (when the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights came into force and until the end of 2016. On the basis of a content search for references to the other Court in both corpora we detect all their cross-references. We find that 1) the Courts’ use each other’s case law surprisingly little, but when they do, it is 2) primarily within the legal domains of criminal justice and immigration policies, and 3) displaying convergence towards the jurisprudence of the other Court.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law


Court decisions not only serve to end legal disputes between the parties to the case, but also serve as precedents. In that sense court decisions are a source of law. This is common ground as to both national and European court decisions. Noting the existence of a context in which Danish legal information systems only publish case reports very selectively, we argue that although decisions of the European courts, notably European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights, are available from the homepages of these courts (CURIA and HUDOC), the fact that these decisions are not part of an integrated dissemination of case reports in Denmark may diminish the regard for these decisions and lead to a relative neglect of European law to the detriment of legal certainty. The article proposes that one explanatory factor in this regard is that the main legal information system in Denmark is influenced by a legal culture which is still predominantly national in orientation. In order to promote awareness of European case law and to improve the quality of legal thinking and practice, we propose that significant parts of this case law should be published in a more suitable way by incorporating it into a comprehensive information system that integrates the promulgation of Danish and European case law.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law