PhD Completion Seminar: "The use of foreign judges on courts of constitutional jurisdiction in the Pacific region"

13 September 2018

Under the supervision of Professors Cheryl Saunders and Adrienne Stone, Ms Anna Dziedzic, Co-Convenor of ConTransNet, presented her thesis, titled The use of foreign judges on courts of constitutional jurisdiction in the Pacific region.

Abstract

The judges of courts of constitutional jurisdiction are generally citizens of the state they serve. However, the use of foreign judges is a prevalent and accepted feature in Pacific island states. The practice affects the approach to constitutional adjudication, judicial independence, and the relationships between the judiciary, the state and the people – sometimes in ways that stand in tension with the values of custom and self-determination in Pacific constitutions.  This thesis argues that Pacific polities accept the legitimacy of foreign judges by emphasising a vision of the foreign judge as, first and foremost, an impartial and expert professional, minimising the extent to which foreign judges are understood to make law, reflect community values or represent the people.

Biography

Anna Dziedzic is a Research Fellow and PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School and a co-convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network.

Anna’s research engages with the field of comparative constitutional law with a special focus on the constitutional systems of the Pacific. She has written on aspects of constitution-making, federalism, institutions of government and the interaction between constitutional provisions and gender issues. Her PhD thesis examines the practice of appointing foreign judges to domestic courts in the Pacific and the effect of this practice on judicial institutions and constitutional jurisprudence in the region.

Anna has practical experience in governance, law reform and constitution-making in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. She previously worked as a legal policy adviser in the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Law Reform Commission. She has also worked with government agencies, international organisations and NGOs in the Pacific region on a range of law reform projects. She holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London and first class honours degrees in Arts and Law from the Australian National University.