Published Online: July 2021
Studies of global constitutionalism have focused on the transnational movement of constitutional law through the citation of foreign judgments. However, little attention has been paid to the movement of constitutional judges themselves. This article considers how the foreign judges who sit on courts of constitutional jurisdiction in Pacific island states can be understood as part of the phenomenon of global constitutionalism. It identifies three ways in which foreign judges can be agents of global constitutionalism: as mechanisms for the diffusion of constitutional ideas, as expressions of global constitutional values and as objects of transnational legal transfer. An empirical analysis comparing the citation practices of local and foreign judges in constitutional cases in nine Pacific states suggests that the use of foreign judges on constitutional courts does contribute to the international movement of constitutional ideas. However, a critical analysis of foreign judges as expressions and objects of global constitutionalism sheds light on a range of tensions in the role of constitutional judges and understandings of global constitutionalism.
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