Eric A. Posner

 

On his book The Perils of Global Legalism

Cover Interview of November 02, 2009

A close-up

International courts have appeared in the news lately.  The public seems vaguely aware of their existence and in some quarters there seems to be an expectation that they can try various bad guys around the world for their crimes.  For some people, this means members of the Bush administration or Israeli generals; for others, this means dictators and human-rights abusers in Sudan, Iran, and North Korea.

My book discusses the history of international adjudication and its prospects for today.  The bottom line is that although states have successfully relied on courts to resolve disputes from time to time in narrow circumstances, there is little reason to think that they will support a court that seeks to take on the hardest problems of international justice.