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The Democratizing Effects of Transjudicial Coordination

14 Pages Posted: 21 May 2012  

Eyal Benvenisti

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law

George W. Downs

New York University (NYU)

Date Written: May 10, 2012


There are growing indications that transjudicial dialogue among national courts has increased in recent years and that it has become more routinized. We argue below that this trend is at least partially motivated by the efforts of these courts to: address a 'judicial deficit' that has resulted from the broad transfer of regulatory policy-making authority from the domestic to the international sphere; and curb pro-executive interpretations of regulatory rules on the part of less politically insulated international tribunals. While recognizing the dangers of 'le gouvernement des juges', we suggest that, at least in the short term, the expanded role of national courts can operate to enhance rather than pre-empt domestic political processes and promote accountability to diverse democratic concerns by providing opportunities for national legislatures and civil society to weigh in on matters subject to executive discretion or international regulation.

Keywords: international law, judicial review, democracy, global governance, transjudicial coordination

Suggested Citation

Benvenisti, Eyal and Downs, George W., The Democratizing Effects of Transjudicial Coordination (May 10, 2012). Utrecht Law Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 158-171, May 2012. Available at SSRN:

Eyal Benvenisti (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law ( email )

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law
5 Cranmer Centre
Cambridge, CB3 9BL
United Kingdom

George Downs

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States
212-998-8020 (Phone)

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