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International Court Authority$
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Karen J. Alter, Laurence R. Helfer, and Mikael Rask Madsen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198795582.001.0001

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International Court Authority in Question

International Court Authority in Question

Introduction to Part III

(p.365) 16 International Court Authority in Question
International Court Authority

Karen J. Alter

Laurence R. Helfer

Mikael Rask Madsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the contributions by the six commentators and engages their diverse perspectives. We put the commentaries in conversation with our IC authority framework, addressing in particular three foundational issues: (1) our decision to set aside normative questions about IC authority; (2) our decision to refrain from hypothesizing about the beliefs that shape how different audiences respond to IC rulings; and (3) our decision to discuss the distinction between IC authority and IC power. In some cases, the commentaries provide a contrasting perspective to this book’s inquiry; in other instances, they are openly critical of its approach to conceptualizing and analyzing IC authority. At a basic level, they reveal how discussions of authority inevitably provoke deeper questions—about legitimation, about the importance of investigating actor beliefs, and about the complex ways in which power is exercised in law and in legal practice.

Keywords:   authority, international courts, international court authority, legitimation, investigating actor beliefs, legal practice

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