Judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are prominent jurists of high merit. However, little is known about certain extra-legal factors of the candidates that guide states in their selection and appointment process. This article focuses on examining extra-legal factors that matter for states in the selection process. Such extra-legal factors demonstrate that elections of candidates to the Court constitute another aspect of a broader political struggle to define the meaning of international law. The article situates the discussion on the selection process in the broader context of the discussion on biases in international law to suggest that the election of candidates to the Court becomes both an instrument and a procedure for controlling the discourse. The characteristics of the judges thus matter as a proxy to control the production and direction of such discourse. This article then explores the ways in which some states have greater strategic advantage in the selection and election processes that enables them to control the discourse to define the meaning of international law effectively.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Polonskaya, K. (2020). Selecting candidates to the bench of the World Court: (Inevitable) politicization and its consequences. Leiden Journal of International Law, 33(2), 409–428. doi:10.1017/S0922156520000023