Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The purpose of this article is to provide a critical assessment of Judge Dillard's performance during his tenure on the International Court of Justice. Much of this article will be "jurisprudential" in scope, endeavoring to examine developments in international legal theory and international organizations during the past two decades and to assess recent decisions written by the Court. The approach will in part be an institutional one, taking into consideration the ability of an individual member of the Court to shape decisional outcomes of an international body which must resolve contentious litigation and render advisory opinions within the structure of a small group decision-making process substantially different from that of United States domestic courts. Yet, the thoroughness of such an approach is necessarily limited by the peculiar characteristics of the Court as an international judicial body representing the "principal legal systems of the world" and also functioning as "the only principal organ of the United Nations which is composed of individuals not directly representing States. The focus, then, will be primarily personal--an attempt to evaluate Judge Dillard's "official" opinions in light of the corpus of his jurisprudence written during his years as law professor and dean. The inquiry will focus especially upon the relationship between theory and practice, between professor and practitioner, keeping in mind Judge Dillard's observation that "a judge must find a solution for every difficulty, whereas a professor must find a difficulty for every solution."