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Sex Representation on the Bench and the Legitimacy of International Criminal Courts


Nienke Grossman


University of Baltimore - School of Law

August 11, 2011

International Criminal Law Review, Vol. 11, pp. 643-653, 2011
University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-4

Abstract:     
This essay examines the relationship between legitimacy and the presence of both male and female judges on international criminal court benches. It argues that sex representation – an approximate reflection of the ratio of the sexes in the general population – on the bench is an important contributor to legitimacy of international criminal courts. First, it proposes that sex representation affects normative legitimacy because men and women bring different perspectives to judging. Consequently, without both sexes, adjudication is inherently biased. Second, even if one rejects the proposition that men and women "think differently", sex representation affects sociological legitimacy because sex representation signals an impartial bench and capacity to do justice to constituencies involved in the shaping of international criminal adjudication. The essay concludes by raising questions for further study.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: international criminal courts, women, gender, legitimacy, courts

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Date posted: December 12, 2010 ; Last revised: August 12, 2011

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Nienke, Sex Representation on the Bench and the Legitimacy of International Criminal Courts (August 11, 2011). International Criminal Law Review, Vol. 11, pp. 643-653, 2011; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-4. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1723407

Contact Information

Nienke Grossman (Contact Author)
University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, 21218
United States
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