Judging the World Court; Reviving the World Court

In This Review

Judging the World Court

By Thomas M. Franck
Priority Press Publications, 1986
112 pp. $8.50

Reviving the World Court

By Richard Falk
University Press of Virginia, 1986
197 pp. $25.00

Recent actions by the U.S. government, including refusal to accept the jurisdiction of the World Court in the Nicaraguan case and espousal of a Reagan Doctrine to support "freedom fighters" in a worldwide struggle against communism, have raised anew the question of the place of international law and the World Court in American foreign policy. Professor Franck is understanding of the Reagan Administration's position against accepting international adjudication of matters of national security involving possible use of force, but he makes a persuasive case for the United States to use the court and accept its jurisdiction in other matters. Professor Falk is not at all content with the court and the international legal system as they now exist. He would like to see them become more in tune with the pluralism of today's world (e.g., as reflected in the U.N. General Assembly); he even chides the Soviet bloc judges for not being more Marxist, and the Third World judges for being too much under the influence of traditional Western concepts of international law. Falk's recommendations may go rather far afield, but one may find them, and Franck's as well, a needed antidote to the opinions flowing from the legal adviser's office in the State Department.

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