International Judicial Human Rights Review – Effective, Legitimate or Both?
UNIVERSALISM IN INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, J. Sihvola, P. Korkman, V. Mäkinen, eds., Collegium, 2008
20 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2008
Critics charge that international judicial human rights review is objectionably undemocratic and hence illegitimate. Jeremy Waldron has presented several forceful and thought provoking arguments against judicial review in general, and hence to international review as well. This contribution argues against these objections Section 2 sketches parts of a liberal contractualist account of legitimacy among ‘contingent compliers’. Section 3 lays out Waldron’s arguments against judicial review, while Section 4 responds to them. Of particular concern is his claim that judicial review conflicts with the grounds for political obligation to majoritarian representative legislature in circumstances of deep conflict. I suggest ways of responding to these criticisms that may lead to the conclusion that en if undemocratic, international judicial review of human rights is legitimate. Some might even argue that the practice can be seen as democratic and legitimate.
Keywords: international human rights, law, political philosophy, judicial review, legitimacy
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