Should Courts Fear Transnational Engagement?

53 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015

See all articles by Olga Frishman

Olga Frishman

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law; Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 20, 2015


Judicial citation of foreign law worries many people, including justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, politicians, and legal academics. The critics in the United States argue that judges “cherry-pick” foreign citations and use them to import foreign norms that do not accord with the Constitution or the will of the American people. This paper argues, based on insights from organizational theory, that the critics overlook another, much greater, concern: the danger does not come from citing or looking at foreign law, but rather, other types of interaction, such as meetings at judicial organizations, judicial delegations, or judicial conferences. The result of these transnational judicial interactions will be convergence on certain practices of courts, especially in the way courts understand their national roles, the ways they present themselves to their national audiences, and the methods they use to do so. The adoption of these similar practices across national borders is likely to distance the courts from their national audiences and cause courts to lose their national support.

Keywords: transnational judicial dialogue, courts, institutional isomorphism, courts' images, courts' legitimacy, organizational fields, globalization, comparative law, comparative constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Frishman, Olga, Should Courts Fear Transnational Engagement? (June 20, 2015). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Olga Frishman (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics