Why Diversity of Counsel in International Adjudication Matters

What has led to the dominance of a small group of white men having repeat appointments as counsel before the International Court of justice? And what are the consequences of lacking diversity? These questions will addressed by Professor James Gathii during PluriCourts' annual lecture 2022. The lecture will be streamed. 

Figurines and a gavel. Equality and social advocacy concept.

Illustration photo: Colourbox.com

The PluriCourts Annual Lecture 2022 - James Gathii

Taking off from the results of an empirical study of counsel who appear before the International Court of Justice, this lecture will proceed in two parts.

In the first part, it will explore the factors that have led to the dominance of a small group of white men having repeat appointments as counsel before the Court. In doing so, the lecture will critically examine the professional practices and argumentative conventions and assumptions about who possesses or does not possess the requisite skills, knowledge and pedigree to be counsel in international litigation.

In the second part, the lecture will examine what is left out in international law making in a system dominated by exclusionary counsel appointments.


The lecture will be live streamed here.

If you have any concerns or questions you want to ask during the conference, please forward them to Even Espelid. Please state your questions in English and keep them within a reasonable length. 

Prepared comments

  • Theresa Squatrito, Assistant Professor in International Organizations, LSE
  • Alain Zysset, Senior Research Fellow at PluriCourts, UiO

General discussion

The lecture and the prepared comments will be followed by a general discussion. If you are following the lecture by stream and wish to participate by asking a question, you can do this by submitting your question to Even Espelid. The question must be in English and have a reasonable length. 

About the speaker

James Gathii is Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has an extensive record of scholarship, teaching, and practice in a variety of fields in international law.

He is a founding member of the Third World Approaches to International Law network and serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of International Law. His current research focuses on comparative constitutional law, particularly in Africa, as well as on Africa’s International Court.


Please contact Even Espelid should you have any questions.

Published Oct. 25, 2021 2:12 PM - Last modified July 1, 2022 10:58 AM