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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2021

International Courts

International Courts

Command v. Reflexive Authority

(p.382) 18 International Courts
International Court Authority

Michael Zürn

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the core components of the meaning of authority in order to derive from each of them an argument directed at the framework chapter. This leads to three points indicating differences to the framework piece. First, while deference is constitutive for authority in a social relationship, a focus on commands seems too narrow to understand courts’ authority. Second, while distinguishing authority and legitimacy is advocated, this chapter argues that the framework chapter goes too far in pushing legitimacy outside of the conceptual framework. Third, by pointing to legitimation (as opposed to legitimacy) as an integral part of authority, the notion that one can say a lot about the determinants of authority by looking at contextual factors alone will be called into question. International institutions become effective only via a social process that produces both authority and legitimacy. Courts are an important party of this authority–legitimacy interaction.

Keywords:   authority, social relationship, legitimacy, legitimation, international institutions, international courts

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