GQUAL Campaign Urges UK Government to Address the Lack of Gender Equality in European Court of Human Rights

Today, the GQUAL Campaign, a global initiative  for gender equality in international courts and bodies, issued a pressing call to the UK Lord Chancellor and the Judicial Appointments Commission, urging them to address the historic lack of female judges from the United Kingdom at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Highlighting a glaring disparity, the GQUAL Campaign noted that despite the UK’s status as the country with the most judges appointed to the ECtHR, all eight judges selected to date have been men. This stark gender imbalance not only contradicts principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in international human rights treaties but also undermines the legitimacy and fairness of the nomination and election process, and ultimately of the Court’s decisions.

In response to this urgent issue, the GQUAL Campaign is joined by leading organizations and experts in the fields of justice and human rights, including the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), the REDRESS Trust, Reprieve, Human Dignity Trust, JUSTICE UK, and prominent academics and experts, in calling on the UK Government to take proactive steps to address this problem, including by considering the submission of  an all-female list of qualified nominees for election at the ECtHR.

The Campaign underscores the importance of a diverse judiciary in strengthening public trust and ensuring fair, balanced decisions. By addressing gender equality in judicial nominations, the UK Government can demonstrate a genuine commitment to promoting diversity in international justice and upholding human rights values .

The Gqual Campaign invites other stakeholders to support this call for action by sharing the letter and advocating for gender equality in the UK judiciary at the national and international level.