The Judge is a Woman

Du Thursday 7 Nov 2013 au Friday 8 Nov 2013
Lieu: Salle Dupréel, Bâtiment S, 44 avenue Jeanne, 1050 Brussels (Belgium)

Reality, Impact and Justification for Gender Diversity on the Bench

International Symposium

Poster of the symposium

Programme of the symposium

The desire to organise a symposium on the theme ‘gender and judging’ stems from two premises. First, it has been noted that there are gender-related legal requirements for the appointment of judges to some national and international courts. But while the importance and legitimacy of a gender diverse judiciary has been the subject of research and debate in the common law world since the late 1970s, it has not been explored in the Romano-Germanic world, at least in the French-speaking countries. The symposium therefore proposes to address the reality of, the impact of and justifications for gender diversity on the Bench from the perspectives of the common law, the Romano-Germanic systems, and international courts. The exciting thing about this symposium is that it is bringing together judges (Susanne Baer, Paul Martens…) and scholars (Anne Boigeol, Ulrike Schultz, Sally Kenney, Judith Resnik, …) from both the common law and Romano-Germanic traditions to discuss these issues.

The conference languages will be English and French, with simultaneous interpretation between them.

Scientific Committee

Françoise Tulkens (former vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, President of the King Baudouin Foundation), Baroness Hale of Richmond (Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom), Rebecca Johnson (Professor of Law, University of Victoria), Marie-Claire Belleau (Professor of Law, Université Laval), Jacques Commaille (Professor emeritus, Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan), Julie Allard (Professor, ULB), Julien Pieret, (Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal), Johanne Poirier (Professor, ULB), Anne Lagerwall (Professor, ULB), David Paternotte (Professor, ULB), Adélaïde Remiche (Ph.D Candidate & Teaching Assistant, ULB)



Registration is compulsory but free: by email or by phone + 32 2 650 39 68


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 7  November 2013

Opening session


9h00-9h30: Registration and coffee

9h30-9h40: Mot de bienvenue par Annemie Schaus, Vice-Rector of the Université libre de Bruxelles

9h40-10h10: Introduction générale – Adélaïde Remiche (Université libre de Bruxelles)


Session 1

Taking Stock of Gender in the Judiciary

Where are the Women ?


Chair: Johanne Poirier (Université  libre de Bruxelles)


10h15-10h40 : D’un déséquilibre à l’autre: la balance des sexes dans la magistrature française et ses enjeux – Anne Boigeol (Institut des sciences sociales et du politique/Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan)

10h40-11h05: La présence des femmes dans la magistrature belge – Pascale Vielle (Université catholique de Louvain)


11h05-11h30: Coffee


11h30-11h55 : The presence of women in the British judiciary – Kate Malleson   (Queen Mary, University of London)

11h55-12h20 : The presence of women in the Indian judiciary – Arvind Agrawal (Central University of Himachal Pradesh)


12h20-13h45 : Lunch


13h50-14h15: Representing justice: women, judging, and justice in the United States – Judith Resnik (Yale Law School).

14h15-14h40: The paucity of women judges on international courts – Nienke Grossman (University of Baltimore)


14h40-15h05 : Coffee


15h05-16h05 : Roundtable chaired by David Paternotte (Université libre de Bruxelles). With Michel Pasteel (Institut pour l’égalité des femmes et des hommes), Danièle Meulders (Université libre de Bruxelles), Alison Woodward (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Bérengère Marques-Pereira (Université libre de Bruxelles)

16h05-16h45: Discussion with the audience



8 November 2013


Session 2

Gender equality, gender diversity

A Condition of Legitimacy for the Judiciary?



Chair: Anne Lagerwall (Université libre de Bruxelles)

9h-9h20: Résumé de la première journée – Anne Lagerwall (Université libre de Bruxelles)

9h20-9h45 : Equal opportunities and women’s advancement in the judiciary – the example of Germany (as a country with a civil law tradition) – Ulrike Schultz (FernUniversität in Hagen)

9h45-10h10:  Making the case for women judges: which arguments work best – Sally Kenney (Tulane University)

10h10-10h35: The argument of gender diversity as a condition of legitimacy of international courts – Françoise Tulkens (former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, President of King Baudouin Foundation)


10h35-11h: Coffee


11h05-12h05 : Roundtable chaired by Julie Allard (Université libre de Bruxelles). With Jacques Commaille (Institut des sciences sociales et du politique/Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan), Julien Pieret (Université du Québec à Montréal), Sabine de Béthune (President of the Belgian Senate)

12h05-12h45 :             Discussion with the audience


12h45-14h00 :            Lunch

Session 3


The Impact of Gender on the Bench

Do Women Judges Make a Difference?


Chair:  Julien Pieret (Université du Québec à Montréal)


14h05-14h30 : ‘Experienced justice’: gendered experiential knowledge and judging – Laura Hilly (University of Oxford)

14h30-14h55 : Jugeons le genre à la Cour suprême du Canada/: Les femmes juges feront-elles une différence? Judging gender at the Supreme Court of Canada: Have women judges made a difference?- Marie Claire Belleau (Université Laval) and Rebecca Johnson (University of Victoria)

14h55-15h20 : Le juge belge est une femme : Et alors ? – Caroline Simon (Université libre de Bruxelles)


15h20-15h50 : Coffee


15h50-16h15: Les jugements devant le tribunal correctionnel en France selon le sexe des magistrats – Thomas Léonard (Université Lille II)

16h15-17h15 : Roundtable chaired by Barbara Truffin (Université libre de Bruxelles). With Nicole Gallus (Université libre de Bruxelles), Erika Rackley (Durham University), Paul Martens (former President of the Constitutional Court of Belgium)

17h15-17h55 : Discussion with the audience


Closing session


Chair: Adélaïde Remiche (Université libre de Bruxelles)


18h00-19h00:  General Conclusions – Baroness Hale of Richmond (Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom) and Susanne Baer (Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany)

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