Harlan Grant Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has just posted at SSRN “Introduction: Legitimacy and the Courts”, the opening segment of a forthcoming Cambridge University Press volume. Institutions treated in subsequent chapters include the International Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the European Court of Human Rights.
Cohen co-edited the forthcoming essay collection, entitled Legitimacy and International Courts, with Baltimore Law Professor Nienke Grossman, Deputy Director of her law school’s Center for International and Comparative Law, and two Oslo Law professors who co-direct that university’s PluriCourts project, Andreas Føllesdal and Geir Ulfstein.
The “Introduction” manuscript, which forms part of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded here.
Here’s the abstract:
Legitimacy and International Courts examines the underpinnings of legitimacy, or the justification of the authority, of international courts and tribunals. It brings together an esteemed group of authors, noted for both their expertise in individual courts, tribunals, or other adjudicatory bodies, and their work on legitimacy, effectiveness, and governance more broadly, to consider the legitimacy of international courts from a comparative perspective. Authors explore what strengthens and weakens the legitimacy of various different international courts, while also considering broader theories of international court legitimacy. Some chapters highlight the sociological or normative legitimacy of specific courts or tribunals, while others address cross-cutting issues such as representation, democracy, independence and effectiveness.
This Introduction surveys some of the key contributions of this volume and distills some of the lessons of its varied chapters for the legitimacy of international courts. Parts II and III are largely conceptual in approach, exploring what legitimacy means for each and all of the courts. Part IV takes a more functional approach, exploring how various factors internal or external to particular courts have contributed to those courts’ normative or sociological legitimacy. Part V provides thumbnail summaries of each the chapters that follow.