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On two occasions in the recent past, the International Court of Justice has misstated its own prior holdings by selective quotation. In each instance, the partial quotation was invoked as authority for the opposite of what the previous Court had said. Neither matter was de minimis: in each instance, the issue for which authority was being sought was central either to the case at bar or to an important aspect of the Court's role. The consequences for the future of international adjudication and the stability of authoritative expectation, which is such an important strut of international law, are serious and merit examination.

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