The Court in the World: The First Annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture on International Law

On April 3, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and The Hague Institute for Global Justice, with the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, hosted Justice Stephen Breyer for a discussion of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the world.

This event launched the inaugural lecture in the Annual Justice Stephen Breyer International Law Lecture Series, which addresses critical issues of international law and the courts that apply it. Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, introduced the speaker and Dr. Abiodun Williams, president of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, moderated the discussion. After the program, the speakers took audience questions.

As transnational issues pervade the U.S. Supreme Court docket, international law plays an increasingly important role, even in cases once considered purely domestic. Judges in the United States and elsewhere can benefit greatly from studying opinions and rulings in other countries to better inform decisions at home and engage in an exchange of legal concepts in areas of shared values.

Courts around the world have important contributions to make toward bridging different political and legal cultures and doing the fundamental legal and institutional work required to shape law, especially as state, federal and international laws become increasingly interconnected.

For more information, please visit the Brookings website.


  • Strobe Talbott, IntroductionPresident, Brookings Institution
  • Stephen Breyer
    Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Abiodun Williams, Moderator
    President, The Hague Institute for Global Justice

Further Reading

Rule of Law

The Rule of Law Program fosters accountability and trust in societies in transition by supporting effective formal and informal justice institutions. The overarching goal…

Past Initiative: Peace-Justice Nexus

The Peace-Justice Nexus project aims to contribute to ongoing debates on the effects of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on conflict and peace processes using…