International Judicial Legitimacy: Lessons from National Courts

Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2013), pp. 437-454

15 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2013 Last revised: 8 Aug 2013

See all articles by Yonatan Lupu

Yonatan Lupu

George Washington University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 8, 2013

Abstract

How can international courts better establish their legitimacy? We can better answer this question by first focusing on what scholars have learned about how national courts build legitimacy over time. The literature suggests that national courts strategically build legitimacy by balancing their own policy preferences with those of their audiences. In so doing, they attempt to avoid instances of court curbing that can diminish legitimacy over the long run. Applying a similar strategy can be more difficult for international courts for two key reasons: (1) they serve audiences with more diverse preferences than national courts; (2) they are less likely to be able to predict which rulings will result in significant backlashes from these audiences.

Keywords: International courts, legitimacy, international law

Suggested Citation

Lupu, Yonatan, International Judicial Legitimacy: Lessons from National Courts (April 8, 2013). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2013), pp. 437-454. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2227398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2227398

Yonatan Lupu (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

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