Trends and Reforms

Ruth MacKenzie, Kate Malleson, Penny Martin and Philippe Sands

in Selecting International Judges: Principle, Process, and Politics

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580569
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594489 | DOI:

Series: International Courts and Tribunals Series

Trends and Reforms

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Proposals for reform of the selection processes of the international judiciary command considerable support in certain quarters, but face real political hurdles. For this reason, reforms to date have been uneven, making it difficult to identify clear trends. In some courts, such as the ICJ, very little change has occurred. In others, such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), considerable efforts have been made in recent years to improve the processes. Despite the very disparate nature of the developments, it is possible to discern two tiers of principles at play, which underpin — explicitly or implicitly — recent trends. The first tier concerns the higher-level concepts of independence, professional competence and integrity that are constant across all international courts. Below this layer is an emerging second tier that seeks to operationalize these requirements, using the principles of transparency, non-politicization, merit, diversity, and representation. The second tier is highly contextual, depending on the function, institutional framework, and political context of the particular court. In order to place developments in the ICJ and ICC in the wider context of the international judiciary, interviewees were asked for their views on the merits of recent changes and potential future reforms in other courts. This chapter reviews their responses in the light of developments in judicial selection processes in different parts of the international court system. Responses tended to fall into the following four main categories: (1) transparency; (2) independence and non-politicization; (3) competence and merit; and (4) diversity and representation.

Keywords: judges; international courts; International Court of Justice; International Criminal; judicial selection

Chapter.  18263 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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