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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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Context, Authority, Power

(p.435) 23 Conclusion
International Court Authority

Karen J. Alter

Laurence R. Helfer

Mikael Rask Madsen

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter returns to the conjectures developed in Chapter 2, extracting insights from the book’s empirical chapters to explore how context shapes the authority of ICs. While several of the conjectures were confirmed, others were not. We focus in particular on the limited impact of IC design features, the distinctive challenges faced by international criminal tribunals, and by ICs created during the post-Cold War era. The final section revisits the distinction between IC authority and IC power. We explain why IC authority is likely to remain fragile, and we revisit our claim that authority can not only increase but also stagnate or diminish over time.

Keywords:   authority, international courts, de facto authority, international court authority, post-Cold War courts, judicial institutions

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