Lunch seminar with Anna Dziedzic

Foreign judging and international judging: The Pacific regional experience

It is generally assumed that the judges sitting on a state’s highest domestic court will be citizens of that state. Yet, in the Pacific, as well as other parts of the world, foreign judges regularly sit on the highest state courts and finally determine constitutional and other legal disputes. Between 2000 and 2015, 187 judges from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Africa and other Pacific states sat on the domestic courts of constitutional jurisdiction in nine independent Pacific states, in many cases outnumbering local judges on those courts.

The use of foreign judges is an under-studied manifestation of international judging. It raises some issues familiar to those who study international courts; for example the connections between the nationality and accountability of judges and the challenges that adjudication of domestic constitutional matters by international judges poses to legitimacy. It also has the potential to meet some of the goals of regional legal integration, by connecting states, legal systems and judicial personnel.

This seminar will present the findings of an empirical study into the nature and extent of the use of foreign judges in the Pacific region, before canvassing the key issues that the use of foreign judges on domestic courts raise for the accountability and legitimacy of domestic constitutional courts. It will seek to draw out relevant similarities and differences between the position of international judges and foreign judges in order to test the application of theories developed in relation to international judges to the domestic sphere.

All interested are welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary.