Presentation: "Foreign judging and international judging"

11 April 2018

Anna Dziedzic, ConTransNet Co-Convenor and PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School, was a recent visitor to iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts and the University of Copenhagen. iCourts is a leading research centre dedicated to the study on international courts, exploring the role of international courts in global and regional legal orders and the impact of courts on politics and society.

Anna presented a seminar on ‘Foreign judging and international judging’, drawing on her doctoral research project on the use of foreign judges on the courts in independent Pacific island states. The appointment of foreign judges to domestic courts is a globally widespread practice, arising predominantly in small jurisdictions. The practice does, however, run counter to the generally held assumption that judges will be citizens of the state on whose courts they serve. As such, the use of foreign judges provides a case study for exploring, from practical and theoretical perspectives, the relevance of nationality to judging.

It raises issues familiar to those who study international courts, such as: Whether and to what extent are judges seen as representatives of their state? Do judges bring a distinctively national perspective to the international or foreign law matters that they hear? And how might the nationality of judges on a national or international court express notions of state sovereignty and consent? In this way, foreign judging is just one example of the interaction between international and domestic constitutional actors, a core research interest of the Constitution Transformation Network.