UCL Faculty of Laws


Thoughts on the Judicial Function in International Law

03 December 2014, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

International Court of Justice

Event Information

Open to



International Law Association


UCL Laws, Bentham House, WC1H 0EG

Speakers: Dr Gleider Hernández, Senior Lecturer, Durham Law School
Chair: Professor George Letsas, UCL
Admission: Free
Accreditation: This event is accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA (BSB pending)
Series: International Law Association (British Branch) Lecture

About the lecture

Assuming that international law is to be understood as a legal system, the role that judicial institutions play in maintaining the coherence of that system plays an outsize role.

Using the International Court of Justice as the primary point of reference, given its jurisdiction over international law as a whole and its place as principal judicial organ of the United Nations, this lecture will consider the manner in which the Court understands its judicial function within the international legal order through reference to its judgments and other publicly-available materials.

The claim being made is that the Court has, over the decades, made a claim to normative authority in the development of international law: that its institutional practice, its deliberative procedure and the justificatory reasoning it deploys have been designed with a specific regard to sustaining that authority.

In this regard, the Court has made a number of pronouncements on the nature of international law, and specifically the political community which is served by international law, which merit heightened scrutiny. This lecture is based on the author’s recently published monograph.

About the speaker

Gleider Hernández is Senior Lecturer in Public International Law at Durham Law School and the Deputy Director of the Durham Global Policy Institute. Previously, he served as Associate Legal Officer to Judges Bruno Simma and Peter Tomka at the International Court of Justice. Gleider holds degrees from McGill (LL.B & BCL), Leiden (LL.M) and Wadham College, Oxford (D.Phil). He recently published a monograph, The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function (Oxford University Press). His current research focusses on the development of international law through judicial institutions, and the extent to which their practice constitutes a claim to interpretative authority.