Judicial Notice in International Criminal Law: A Reconciliation of Potential, Peril and Precedent

Judicial Notice in International Criminal Law: A Reconciliation of Potential, Peril and Precedent International Criminal Law Review 3: 245–274, 2003. © 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands. 245 Judicial Notice in International Criminal Law: A Reconciliation of Potential, Peril and Precedent JAMES G. STEWART I. Introduction Judicial notice is “the means by which a court may take as proven certain facts without hearing evidence”. 1 The doctrine has had a signiŽ cant but unhappy existence in international criminal law. In many respects its struggles are a product of the jurisdiction’s adolescence: judicial notice is full of potential, fused with serious dangers and struggling to establish its own legitimate iden- tity out of the preconceptions of its many parent legal systems. Its history is full of con ict, confusion, inconsistency and failures to intervene. The need for reconciliation is profound. Although ensuring consistent factual Ž ndings is an important function of judicial notice, its real potential lies in its ability to signiŽ cantly expedite trial. 2 In his treatise on evidence, Thayer opined that “the failure to ex- ercise [judicial notice] tends daily to smother trials with technicality and monstrously lengthens them out”. 3 Those concerns are perhaps felt most pro- foundly in international criminal jurisdictions, where assessment of personal http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Criminal Law Review Brill

Judicial Notice in International Criminal Law: A Reconciliation of Potential, Peril and Precedent

International Criminal Law Review, Volume 3 (3): 245 – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1567-536X
eISSN
1571-8123
DOI
10.1163/157181203322599129
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

International Criminal Law Review 3: 245–274, 2003. © 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands. 245 Judicial Notice in International Criminal Law: A Reconciliation of Potential, Peril and Precedent JAMES G. STEWART I. Introduction Judicial notice is “the means by which a court may take as proven certain facts without hearing evidence”. 1 The doctrine has had a signiŽ cant but unhappy existence in international criminal law. In many respects its struggles are a product of the jurisdiction’s adolescence: judicial notice is full of potential, fused with serious dangers and struggling to establish its own legitimate iden- tity out of the preconceptions of its many parent legal systems. Its history is full of con ict, confusion, inconsistency and failures to intervene. The need for reconciliation is profound. Although ensuring consistent factual Ž ndings is an important function of judicial notice, its real potential lies in its ability to signiŽ cantly expedite trial. 2 In his treatise on evidence, Thayer opined that “the failure to ex- ercise [judicial notice] tends daily to smother trials with technicality and monstrously lengthens them out”. 3 Those concerns are perhaps felt most pro- foundly in international criminal jurisdictions, where assessment of personal

Journal

International Criminal Law ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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