The International judge: nothing personal

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Author: Tatyana Neshataeva

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2019-1-23-42

Keywords: Eurasian integration; independence of judges; institutional law of international organization; requirements for judges of international courts


This article examines the status of international judges. The author notes the dual nature of judicial activity: judges resolve disputes and at the same time are engaged in the development of law by closing legal gaps. In international courts, this function is manifested in two ways: in treaties using judicial positions and through the identification (verbal formulation) of international customs. To achieve this, an international judge must be an expert in international law. In addition to these essential requirements for judges of international courts, the author explores mechanisms for selecting judges in the most authoritative and culturally similar courts (International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice, Court of the Eurasian Economic Union). The author concludes that the general wording of the requirements for candidates for judges, not accompanied by procedural mechanisms for the selection of judges from several candidates in an open, transparent procedure, sometimes lead to a result that hinders the work of an international court. Examples of cases considered by the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union are presented in which excessive positivism and procedural nihilism were manifested. Therefore, the selection of judges should be carried out in two stages: at the national and international levels. Additionally, criteria for the appointment of judges should be specified and expanded. International judges supervise compliance of states with international norms and obligations arising therefrom, so all candidates for judges must have one of the most essential qualities – independence (both external and internal) in relation to judicial and organizational activities of the court. From this point of view, the author analyzes the activities of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union and concludes that elements of independence are mainly provided in statutory and internal documents, but in the practice of the Court the picture can be distorted both by external pressure on the court as a whole and by internal pressure on individual judges.

About the author: Tatyana Neshataeva – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor of Law, Judge of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union, Minsk, Republic of Belarus.

Citation: Neshataeva T. (2019) Mezhdunarodnyy sud'ya: nichego lichnogo [The International judge: nothing personal]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.9, no.1, pp.23–42. (In Russian).


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