Pace my cynical fellow-bloggers:
Liechtenstein was admitted to the Council of Europe in 1978, after long arguments about the rights of women, and shorter ones about whether it was really an independent state. The Principality thus acquired the right to nominate a judge on the European Court of Human Rights. It astutely decided to propose not some native tax expert but an eminent Canadian jurist, Ronald St. John Macdonald. His successor is an experienced Swiss human rights lawyer, Mark Villiger. Liechtenstein thus set a truly revolutionary precedent for staffing international bodies simply with the most qualified people.