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International Court Authority

Karen Alter, Larry Helfer and Mikael Rask Madsen have published a new paper on International Court Authority that also serves as an introduction to a larger project that is forthcoming on Oxford University Press.

Here is the abstract:

An innovative, interdisciplinary and far-reaching examination of the actual reality of international courts, International Court Authority (Oxford University Press, 2018) challenges fundamental preconceptions about when, why, and how international courts become important and authoritative actors in national, regional and international politics. Alter, Helfer and Madsen provide a novel framework for conceptualizing international court authority that focuses on the reactions and practices of these key audiences. Eighteen scholars from the disciplines of law, political science and sociology apply this framework to study thirteen international courts operating in Africa, Latin America and Europe, as well as on a global level. Together the contributors document and explore important and interesting variations in whether the audiences that interact with international courts around the world embrace or reject the rulings of these judicial institutions. This newly written book introduction situates our practice-based approach to studying international court authority, explaining how it differs compared to normative, sociological and compliance based studies of legal authority. We also preview the twenty-two chapters in the volume. The book expands by 40% the special issue we published in Law and Contemporary Problems, adding a new introduction and conclusion, three new empirical chapters, six commentaries and a conclusion that reconsiders how context influences the authority of international courts.

The full article can be accessed via the iCourts Working Paper Series and found here.

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