The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights

Princeton University Press
Free sample

In 1989, when the Cold War ended, there were six permanent international courts. Today there are more than two dozen that have collectively issued over thirty-seven thousand binding legal rulings. The New Terrain of International Law charts the developments and trends in the creation and role of international courts, and explains how the delegation of authority to international judicial institutions influences global and domestic politics.

The New Terrain of International Law presents an in-depth look at the scope and powers of international courts operating around the world. Focusing on dispute resolution, enforcement, administrative review, and constitutional review, Karen Alter argues that international courts alter politics by providing legal, symbolic, and leverage resources that shift the political balance in favor of domestic and international actors who prefer policies more consistent with international law objectives. International courts name violations of the law and perhaps specify remedies. Alter explains how this limited power--the power to speak the law--translates into political influence, and she considers eighteen case studies, showing how international courts change state behavior. The case studies, spanning issue areas and regions of the world, collectively elucidate the political factors that often intervene to limit whether or not international courts are invoked and whether international judges dare to demand significant changes in state practices.

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About the author

Karen J. Alter is professor of political science and law at Northwestern University and a permanent visiting professor at the iCourts Center of Excellence, University of Copenhagen School of Law. She is the author of Establishing the Supremacy of European Law and The European Court's Political Power.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 24, 2014
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9781400848683
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Political Science / International Relations / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Transplanting International Courts provides a deep, systematic investigation of the most active and successful transplant of the European Court of Justice. The Andean Tribunal is effective by any plausible definition of the term, but only in the domain of intellectual property law. Alter and Helfer explain how the Andean Tribunal established its legal authority within and beyond this intellectual property island, and how Andean judges have navigated moments of both transnational political consensus and political contestation over the goals and objectives of regional economic integration. By letting member states set the pace and scope of Andean integration, by condemning unequivocal violations of Andean rules, and by allowing for the coexistence of national legislation and supranational authority, the Tribunal has retained its fidelity to Andean law while building relationships with nationally-based administrative agencies, lawyers, and judges. Yet the Tribunal's circumspect and formalist approach means that, unlike in Europe, Community law is not an engine of integration. The Tribunal's strategy has also limited its influence within the Andean legal system. Transplanting International Courts also revists the authors' path-breaking scholarship on the effectiveness of international adjudication. Alter and Helfer argue that the European Court of Justice benefitted in underappreciated ways from the support of jurist advocacy movements that are absent or poorly organized in the Andes and elsewhere in the world. The Andean Tribunal's longevity despite these and other challenges offers guidance for international courts in other developing country contexts. Moreover, given that the Andean Community has weathered member state withdrawals and threats of exit, major economic and political crises, and the retrenchment of core policies such as the common external tariff, the Andean experience offers timely and important lessons for Europe's international courts.
The post-Cold War proliferation of international adjudicatory bodies and increase in litigation has greatly affected international law and politics. A growing number of international courts and tribunals, exercising jurisdiction over international crimes and sundry international disputes, have become, in some respects, the lynchpin of the international legal system. The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication charts the transformations in international adjudication that took place astride the twentieth and twenty-first century, bringing together the insight of 47 prominent legal, philosophical, ethical, political, and social science scholars. Overall, the 40 contributions in this Handbook provide an original and comprehensive understanding of the various contemporary forms of international adjudication. The Handbook is divided into six parts. Part I provides an overview of the origins and evolution of international adjudicatory bodies, from the nineteenth century to the present, highlighting the dynamics driving the multiplication of international adjudicative bodies and their uneven expansion. Part II analyses the main families of international adjudicative bodies, providing a detailed study of state-to-state, criminal, human rights, regional economic, and administrative courts and tribunals, as well as arbitral tribunals and international compensation bodies. Part III lays out the theoretical approaches to international adjudication, including those of law, political science, sociology, and philosophy. Part IV examines some contemporary issues in international adjudication, including the behavior, role, and effectiveness of international judges and the political constraints that restrict their function, as well as the making of international law by international courts and tribunals, the relationship between international and domestic adjudicators, the election and selection of judges, the development of judicial ethical standards, and the financing of international courts. Part V examines key actors in international adjudication, including international judges, legal counsel, international prosecutors, and registrars. Finally, Part VI overviews select legal and procedural issues facing international adjudication, such as evidence, fact-finding and experts, jurisdiction and admissibility, the role of third parties, inherent powers, and remedies. The Handbook is an invaluable and thought-provoking resource for scholars and students of international law and political science, as well as for legal practitioners at international courts and tribunals.
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