Global Governance Centre
05 April 2022

On the Judge Centredness of the International Legal Self

A new article by Professor Fuad Zarbiyev is now out in the European Journal of International Law.

Although a wide range of actors, from states to non-state armed groups and non-governmental organizations, often produce their own interpretations of international law, international legal scholarship tends to give greater heed to utterances made by international adjudicatory bodies. But why? How can we understand what Fuad Zarbiyev describes as the “judge centeredness of the international legal self”? 

Employing a Foucault-inspired analytical lens, Fuad Zarbiyev’s EJIL article unpacks and thereby denaturalizes the often taken-for-granted, privileged status of international judges “‘charged with saying what counts as [international law].’” Zarbiyev equally points to the epistemic and distributional consequences of a judge-centric perspective that is incapable of capturing what happens outside the courtroom while locating significant power in the hands of international courts to “shape the meaning of international law in international society.”


Read the full article here