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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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Authority of International Courts

Authority of International Courts

Scope, Power, and Legitimacy

(p.374) 17 Authority of International Courts
International Court Authority

Andrei Marmor

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the relations between the four main stages of de facto authority laid out in this book’s framework, and the respective legitimacy of the international courts (ICs) in question. It also shows that interesting questions about moral legitimacy are brought to light by the transitions from narrow to intermediary and to the extensive and perhaps popular authority of ICs. The chapter then acknowledges that the realities of the development of ICs, and the fascinating ways in which they gain—or sometimes fail to gain—practical authority, put some pressure on established ways of thinking about matters of legitimacy of practical authorities. As in much else in the domain of international law, both the realities on the ground and the theorizing about them are very much works in progress.

Keywords:   de facto authority, international courts, legitimacy, moral legitimacy, narrow authority, intermediary authority, extensive authority, practical authority, international law

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