Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court

Authored by: Louise Chappell

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: International Law, Mass Atrocities
Region: No Region
Year: 2010
Citation: Chappell, Louise. "Gender and Judging at the International Criminal Court." Politics & Gender 6, no.3 (2010), 484–95.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

Imagine this: a court presided over by a majority of women judges—many of whom are from racially marginalized backgrounds—and which has a “constitution” that has gender justice at its core. Incredibly, given what we know about gender and judging cross-nationally, this is not some utopian vision but the current reality at the International Criminal Court (ICC). As of May 2010, the 18 member ICC bench consisted of 11 women judges, most of whom were from outside the West and many of whom have expertise in gender-based violence. This development raises a range of important questions, two of which I want to speculate on in the following discussion: How is it that the sex profile of the ICC bench differs so dramatically from domestic-level courts? What difference might this profile make to the transformation of international law in terms of expanding gender justice principles?