System for appointing judges ‘undermining international courts’

Nation states, who nominate judges from their own and other countries to stand for positions in international courts, have been accused of “vote trading”, a practice where states lend their support to nominees from other countries based on political considerations, rather than judicial expertise.

Last year, Human Rights Watch warned against the practice. “Vote trading over ICC positions could lead to the election of poorly qualified judges, and hence to a bench that will not be the most skilled and representative,” the organisation said in a memorandum to the ICC. ”

Human Rights Watch urges states parties to put aside narrow interests and vote only for the “most highly qualified judges.”

Although the findings in today’s research relate to the ICC and ICJ, there are more than 30 international courts and tribunals covering approximately 200 nations, many of which have faced similar criticisms.

The Guardian

8 September 2010

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