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LegitimacyThe State and Beyond$
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Wojciech Sadurski, Michael Sevel, and Kevin Walton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825265.001.0001

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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: 28 July 2021

Legitimacy Criticisms of International Courts

Legitimacy Criticisms of International Courts

Not Only Fuzzy Rhetoric?

(p.223) XI Legitimacy Criticisms of International Courts

Andreas Follesdal

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes the book as a whole and attempts to bring some order to debates about the legitimacy of international courts. It draws on Raz’s conception of authority and on cosmopolitan theory. It argues that this approach can reduce apparent confusion about the legitimacy of international courts by explaining the significance of considerations such as states’ consent, states’ compliance, and the legality of courts’ decisions. International courts not only adjudicate disputes, but also engage in the interpretation and specification of laws, and—some would argue—even law-making. Thus, the issue is not only the judicial legitimacy of these courts, but also their legitimate role in specifying treaties and shaping other actors’ expectations of others’ future actions more broadly. Raz’s service conception helps to explain why several legitimacy conceptions matter for normative legitimacy, including legality, the (limited) significance of state consent, and why actual compliance often matters if international courts are to provide impartial yet responsive judgments and specifications whilst accountable and responsive.

Keywords:   legitimacy, authority, cosmopolitanism, international court, consent, compliance, legality

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