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Why the European Court on Human Rights Might Be Democratically Legitimate: A Modest Defense

Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 289-303, 2009

15 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010  

Andreas Follesdal

Pluricourts

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

According to critics in some of the Nordic countries the bodies that monitor and adjudicate international human rights courts are undermining their own legitimacy by adhering to undemocratic practices. The strongest normative case against the judicial review that such bodies perform could be directed at the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR), which monitors many wellfunctioning democracies. Section 1 lists normative objections to judicial review in general. Section 2 sketches a normative defense this practice, and Section 3 presents some relevant aspects of the ECtHR. Section 4 returns to consider the various objections. The mandate, composition, institutional environment and mode of operation of the ECtHR renders it immune to several of these criticisms. The conclusion identifies some objections that merit further attention, both for empirical research and for normative analysis.

Keywords: Human Rights, International Judicial Review, Legitimacy, Democracy, European Court of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Follesdal, Andreas, Why the European Court on Human Rights Might Be Democratically Legitimate: A Modest Defense (2009). Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 289-303, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1673245

Andreas Follesdal (Contact Author)

Pluricourts ( email )

P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo
Norway

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