Do ICJ Judges Need Their Own Law Clerks?
Following up on Ken’s post (whose views I totally endorse, by the way), I wanted to flag one UN budgetary issue of particular interest to our readers. As the NYT article details, UN budget negotiators will battle over whether each of the ICJ’s 15 judges should have a law clerk. They currently share nine. Former ICJ President Roslyn Higgins made an argument for law clerks back in 2006 here. As a budget item, this is not exactly a huge amount of money. So I can’t imagine the cost of six extra law clerks a year making a big difference, so why not spring for it? There are worse things the UN could spend its money on (like, say, $23 million murals).
But as an institutional matter, it is an interesting question. Is judging on the ICJ, especially at a rate of four or five cases a year, a job that really requires law clerks? Does it need full time clerks? I am no ICJ expert, so I welcome thoughts from our readers on this question.