On the Functions of International Courts: An Appraisal in Light of Their Burgeoning Public Authority

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2012-69

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2012-10

Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2012-05

31 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2012 Last revised: 22 Oct 2012

See all articles by Armin von Bogdandy

Armin von Bogdandy

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: June 14, 2012

Abstract

This contribution presents international judicial institutions as multifunctional actors against the background of a traditional understanding, which sees just one function: settling disputes. The traditional, one-dimensional understanding eclipses other important functions that many international courts do actually perform in contexts of global governance and it underrates problems in their legitimation. In order to appreciate the many contributions of contemporary adjudication to social interaction, the paper first identifies three more functions beyond dispute settlement: the stabilization of normative expectations, lawmaking, and the control as well as legitimation of authority exercised by others. It then places these functions within broader normative understandings of international courts, which respectively picture them as instruments of the parties in a state-centred world order, as organs of a value-based international community, and as institutions of specific legal regimes. The distinct problems that each of these basic understanding faces ultimately lead to the contours of a new paradigm for the study of international courts as actors exercising public authority. The present functional analysis ultimately helps to refine both the phenomenon and normative questions.

Keywords: International Courts and Tribunals, Functions, International Public Authority, Legitimacy

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

von Bogdandy, Armin and Venzke, Ingo, On the Functions of International Courts: An Appraisal in Light of Their Burgeoning Public Authority (June 14, 2012). Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2012-10; Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2012-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2084079

Armin Von Bogdandy (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

REC A - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018WV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/v/e/i.venzke/i.venzke.html

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