Shattering the Glass Ceiling in International Adjudication

by Nienke Grossman ~ Mar 02, 2017

The Article shows that women are found in dramatically low numbers on the benches of the majority of the world’s most important international courts, analyzes the causes of this phenomenon, and proposes and evaluates solutions. It establishes that the number of women in the pool of potential judges does not appear to dictate how many women become international judges. It shows, too, that when selection procedures are closed and opaque, and there is no quota or aspirational target for a sex-balanced bench, women obtain international judgeships in disproportionately low numbers. On the other hand, when a quota or aspirational target exists, benches are more balanced. Finally, the Article suggests and evaluates concrete reforms to selection procedures on international courts to remedy this problem, including greater transparency and openness in selection procedures, aspirational targets for the participation of women on the bench, and quotas. It is the first article to explore the relationship between selection procedures and sex representativeness outcomes on international courts.

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