15 Colum. J. Eur. L. 89 (2008 – 2009)

Iyiola Solanke.Lecturer, Norwich Law School, University of East Anglia. BA (Hon.) (London), MSc, Ph. D, London School of Economics.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) currently comprises twenty seven judges and eight Advocates General who together make law affecting citizens of the European Union over a wide range of social and economic issues, including racial and ethnic equality. However, the ECJ’s composition remains unreflective of the millions of black and migrant European Union citizens whom it serves. As the rulings of the Court reach into the everyday lives of an increasing number of people, the need for it to be legitimate in the eyes of all those it serves also rises. Courts derive their legitimacy from both inputs and outputs. A traditional input is independence; a more recent concern is diversity. This Article argues that the current procedure for appointments to the ECJ undermines both of these. The lack of transparency, coupled with the proximity to the national governments, undermines the independence of the members and precludes racial and ethnic minority representation at the Court. To address this problem, I suggest the development of objective eligibility criteria, the use of which, I argue, can promote both diversity and independence in the ECJ.