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 signi 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 ndings is an important function of judicial notice, its real potential lies in its ability to signi 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
International Criminal Law Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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