International Courts in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Study of Foundations and Authority
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 183
28 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 18, 2019
This chapter sets out the theoretical and methodological aspects of studying the foundations and processes of gaining authority of the Latin American and Caribbean economic courts. In terms of theory, the chapter relies on the concept of de facto authority, according to which International Courts (ICs) become authoritative and powerful when their rulings are endorsed by relevant audiences in their practices. To complement this approach, the chapter proposes five original analytical markers, which are central for analysing and explaining the social processes through which ICs gain or lose de facto authority. These are: I) the nature of the political environment surrounding ICs; II) the timing of their institutional founding; III) the material and/or abstract interests of the agents interacting with ICs; IV) the fundamental support of different social groups in relation to an IC; and V) the societal embeddedness of an IC in its operational context.
Keywords: regional courts; Latin America and Caribbean; authority; international legal theory
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