International Judicial Monitor
Published by the American Society of International Law and the International Judicial Academy
March 2006, Volume 1, Issue 1

ASIL Sidebar

Because the behavior of more and more people, in addition to states, is being shaped by international law and institutions, it is now something of an imperative that all who influence and use this law better understand its sources and application.

This is particularly the case for the judiciary, given its role in the interpretation and application of international law—both treaty law and customary law—in domestic courts around the world. Moreover, the judiciary is universally recognized as a central pillar of the rule of law as well as being essential to the fair and efficient administration of justice on the basis of international law and standards.

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) is therefore pleased to present the inaugural issue of the International Judicial Monitor (IJM), an electronic and web-based resource on international law for judges, justice sector professionals, and the rule of law community.

We hope that IJM recipients around the world will benefit from the documents, tools, and analysis of significant legal issues and rule of law developments that this issue and future issues will make available.

In addition to serving as a clearinghouse of up-to-date information on the international rule of law, the International Judicial Monitor will serve as a forum for discussion and debate on emerging issues and trends in the domestic application of international law; the relevance of foreign law, comparative legal traditions, and decisions of international tribunals in judicial decision-making; and how international law and standards contribute to rule of law promotion, including the establishment of independent, efficient, and effective judiciaries.

The IJM is the most recent initiative of ASIL’s Judicial Outreach Program, which promotes greater awareness and understanding of international law and institutions by judiciaries in the United States and elsewhere. We hope that through the IJM you will also learn more about the overall mission of ASIL and its work with members of the judiciary.

Some ASIL highlights—past, present, and future:

  • Since 2000, ASIL has organized more than twenty educational workshops on international law for judges throughout the United States. ASIL workshops expose judges to general principles and substantive issues related to public international law, international economic law, and human rights. Particular attention is also given to providing workshop participants with practical information and skills for using international law in domestic courts.
  • In addition, ASIL’s recent publication, International Law: A Handbook for Judges, offers judges and other legal professionals with a brief overview of how international law relates to the US legal system. To date this resource has been made available to more than 2,000 judges in the United States and abroad. The Handbook has also been used by judicial training centers and other organizations such as the Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program for seminars on international law.
  • The 100th ASIL Annual Meeting, which will bring together more than 1,000 international lawyers from around the world, features speeches and presentations on international law by US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy; Judge Roslyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice, former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and other leading figures.
  • ASIL is planning two workshops involving international law with members of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, a principal organ of the Organization of American States. These workshops will bring together legal scholars, practitioners, and members of international and non-governmental organizations to discuss international and regional standards related to democracy and also feature discussions of the International Criminal Court and complimentarity of the Rome Statute with the legal systems of the Western Hemisphere.
  • In conjunction with the Federal Judicial Center, ASIL is also organizing a judicial conference in November 2006 for US federal and state judges on international law and litigation in US courts. Topics that will be addressed include current issues and trends involving the domestic application of international law in US and foreign courts such as refugee and asylum law, child custody and international family law, alien tort claims, foreign sovereign immunity, extraterritorial application of law, and international judicial cooperation.

For more information about ASIL and the international law resources we offer, please click here.

by Andrew Solomon, ASIL Director of Research and Outreach Programs

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ASIl & International Judicial AcademyInternational Judicial Monitor
© 2006 – The American Society of International Law and International Judicial Academy.

Editors: James G. Apple, Katherine Brantingham and Andrew Solomon.
IJM welcomes comments, suggestions, and submissions.
Please contact the IJM editors at