Rethinking Representation in the International Bench. Towards a Diversity-Sensitive Approach

Questions of representation remain notably relegated in the scholarship on international courts and tribunals. To be sure, predominant attention has been given to formal issues of meritocracy (legal and linguistic proficiency) and geographic origin. The statutes of ICs also typically address the question of representation in these terms. Yet this approach hardly engages with rising challenges to the legitimacy of the international judiciary that point to the limited diversity of the bench in terms of gender, race, culture, class and other identity-related factors. The paper aims at rethinking representation in order to tackle those challenges. To this end, I will examine alternative (less state-centric) normative conceptions of representation and their significance for judicial independence, impartiality and accountability. The paper argues in favour of a diversity-sensitive approach that is able to strengthen both normative and sociological legitimacy of ICs.