Judges ad hoc of the International Court of Justice have been widely criticized for their supposed lack of impartiality. This criticism may seem all the more powerful if one takes into account that judges ad hoc were created as a means to avoid the Court’s bias and appearance of bias. However, recent developments in the appointment of judges ad hoc indicate that, far from being a detriment to the states’ perception of the Court’s impartiality, judges ad hoc are a means to enhance the perception that the Court as a whole is impartial. Such developments include the increased frequency with which former elected judges are appointed judges ad hoc, the practice of electing judges from the ranks of former (or sitting) judges ad hoc, and the appointment of nationals or non-nationals as judges ad hoc. The institution of judges ad hoc has come full circle, and should be regarded as fulfilling the function for which it was created.
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