Toward global checks and balances
- 296 Downloads
The rapid growth and importance of intergovernmental coordination in the regulation of markets, transportation and communication, the environment, and national security poses numerous challenges for democratic accountability within participating states. Direct public participation in the intergovernmental regulatory bodies is generally modest or absent. Information regarding their deliberations is limited. And the multiple oversight mechanisms and supervisory processes that exist at the domestic level of developed democracies that can scrutinize intergovernmental regulatory decisions tend to be lacking. This lack of accountability raises legitimacy concerns, the most prominent of which is the fear executive branch officials will delegate controversial policy decisions to intergovernmental bodies in order to escape democratic deliberation. In this paper we survey the ways that different review venues (other international institutions and national courts) are attempting to cope with these accountability related issues: we argue that national courts may prove to be the most effective venue for promoting democratic accountability. This is not because they are more reliably representative of their domestic constituency or possess a more cosmopolitan perspective than the bodies whose decisions they are reviewing. Rather their relative advantage lies in: (1) the increasing acceptance on the part of domestic courts that inter-judicial coordination is a prerequisite for their continued ability to fulfill their judicial review function; and (2) the visibility that the decisions of these courts possess. Acting together these two forces have the potential to foster greater transparency and public deliberation than most rival venues.
KeywordsInternational organizations International law Informal international law International tribunals National courts Judicial review Checks and balances Peer review Global administrative law
- Alvarez, J. E. (2005). International organizations as law-makers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Aust, A. (2000). Modern treaty law and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Benvenisti, E. (1993). Judicial misgivings regarding the application of international norms: An analysis of attitudes of national courts. European Journal of International Law, 4, 159.Google Scholar
- Benvenisti, E. (2005). Factors shaping the evolution of administrative law in international institutions. Law and Contemporary Problems, 68, 319–340.Google Scholar
- Benvenisti, E. (2007). “Coalitions of the willing” and the evolution of informal international law. In C. Calliess et al. (Ed.), Coalitions of the willing—advantage or threat? http://ssrn.com/abstract=875590. Accessed 23 January 2009.
- Benvenisti, E. (2008b). United we stand: National courts reviewing counterterrorism measures. In A. Bianchi & A. Keller (Eds.), Counterterrorism: Democracy’s challenge (pp. 251–276). Oxford, United Kingdom: Hart Publishing.Google Scholar
- Benvenisti, E., & Downs, G. W. (2007). The empire’s new clothes: Political economy and the fragmentation of international law. Stanford law review, 60, 595.Google Scholar
- Bernhardt, R. (1999). Evolutive interpretation, especially of the European Convention on Human Rights. German Yearbook of International Law, 42, 11–33.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J., & Sable, C. F. (2005). Global democracy? Journal of International Law and Politics, 37(4), 763–797.Google Scholar
- De Wet, E. (2004). The chapter VII powers of the United Nations Security Council. Oxford, United Kingdom: Hart Publishing.Google Scholar
- De Wet, E., & Nollkaemper, A. (2002). Review of Security Council decisions by national courts. German Yearbook of International Law, 45, 189.Google Scholar
- De Witte, B. (1999). Direct effect, supremacy and the nature of legal order. In P. Craig & G. de Burca (Eds.), The evolution of EU law (pp. 177–213). New York, United States: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Edwards, M., Hulme, D., & Wallace, T. (1999). NGOs in a global future: Marrying local delivery to worldwide leverage. Public Administration and Development, 19(2), 117–136. http://www.gdrc.org/ngo. Accessed 23 January 2009.
- Freeman, J. (2000). The private role in public governance. New York University Law Review, 75, 543.Google Scholar
- Hirschl, R. (2004). Towards juristocracy: The origins and consequences of the new constitutionalism. Boston, United States: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Kennedy, D. (2005). Challenging expert rule: The politics of global governance. Sydney Law Review, 25, 5.Google Scholar
- Kingsbury, B., Krisch, N., & Stewart, R. B. (2005). The emergence of global administrative law. Law and Contemporary Problems, 68, 15.Google Scholar
- Klabbers, J. (2002). An introduction to international institutional law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Kokkot, J. (1998). Report on Germany. In A.-M. Slaughter, A. S., Sweet, & J. H. H., Weiler (Eds.), The European court and national courts—doctrine and jurisprudence. Oxford, United Kingdom: Hart Publishing 77–132.Google Scholar
- Lauterpacht, H. (1958). The development of international law by the international court. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Maclachlan, C. (2005). The principles of systemic integration and article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna convention. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 54, 279–320.Google Scholar
- Mattli, W., & Büthe, T. (2005). Global private governance: Lessons from a national model of setting standards in accounting. Law & Contemporary problems, 68, 225–262.Google Scholar
- McNollgast. (1995). Politics and the courts: A positive theory of judicial doctrine and the rule of law. South California Law Review, 68(6), 1631–1689.Google Scholar
- McNollgast. (2006). Conditions for judicial independence. Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 15. http://ssrn.com/abstract=895723. Accessed 23 January 2009.
- McWhinney, E. (1992). The international court as emerging constitutional court and the co-ordinate UN institutions (especially the Security Council): Implications of the aerial incident at Lockerbie. Canadian Year Book of International Law, 30, 261.Google Scholar
- Murphy, S. D. (2003). Contemporary practice of the United States relating to international law—U.S.-Russia polar bear agreement. American Journal of International Law, 97(1), 192–193.Google Scholar
- Reinisch, A. (2007). The international relations of national courts: A discourse on international law norms on jurisdictional and enforcement immunity. In A. Reinisch & U. Kriebarum (Eds.), The law of international relations—Liber amicorum hanspeter neuhold (pp. 289–309).Google Scholar
- Reisman, W. M. (1993). The constitutional crisis in the United Nations. American Journal of International Law, 87, 83.Google Scholar
- Richter, D. (2006). Does international jurisprudence matter in Germany? The federal constitutional court’s new doctrine of “factual precedent”. German Yearbook of International Law, 49, 51–76.Google Scholar
- Schultz, N. (2006). Was the war on Iraq illegal? The German federal administrative court’s judgment to 21st June 2005. German Law Journal, 7:26–44. http://www.germanlawjournal.com/pdf/Vo107No01/PDF_Vol_07_No_1_25–44_Developments_Schultz.pdf. Accessed 23 January 2009.
- Slaughter, A.-M. (2004). A new world order. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- U.S. National Security Council. (2006). The national security strategy of the United States of America. http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2006/nss2006.pdf. Accessed 23 January 2009.
- Watson, G. R. (1993). Constitutionalism, judicial review, and the world court. Harvard International Law Journal, 34, 1.Google Scholar
- Weiler, J. H. H. (2004). The geology of international law—governance, democracy and legitimacy. ZaöRV (Heidelberg Journal of International Law), 64, 547–562.Google Scholar