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:
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.