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

International Criminal Law Review, Vol. 11, pp. 643-653, 2011

University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-4

12 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2010 Last revised: 12 Aug 2011

Nienke Grossman

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: August 11, 2011

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.

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

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1723407

Nienke Grossman (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, 21218
United States

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