More women - but which women? A reply to stéphanie hennette vauchez

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This article responds to a thoughtful intervention by Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez documenting the selection process for women seeking judicial appointment to the European Court of Human Rights. Written in the context of the author's experience as candidate for appointment to the Court, the analysis concentrates on the gendered dimensions of international institutional cultures, habits and practices that frame selection to judicial office as much as any formally applicable rules. I explore the ways in which ostensible access to international judicial bodies conceals the manifold ways in which Courts are coded masculine, and how female candidacy requires careful deliberation on performance, presentation and identity. Drawing on 'new institutionalism' theory, I underscore that female presence alone rarely undoes embedded institutional practices. Rather, transforming institutional practices and values must parallel female presence, thereby redefining the institution and the forms of power it exercises. The article concludes by reflecting on the importance of feminist judging, and argues that it is precisely the transformative political and legal changes sought by self-defined feminists that may stand the best chance of undoing the structures, habits and practices that continue to exclude women from being appointed and from engaging on terms of full equality when they arrive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author, 2015.


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