Analyzing and conceptualizing the legitimacy of international courts

PluriCourts seminar with postdoctoral fellow Silje Aambø Langvatn.

All the central concepts of legal and political theory are contested, but when we disagree about legitimacy there seems to be less agreement on what it is we are disagreeing on. This is a problem for the interdisciplinary debate about the challenges of international courts. These debates often center on real, or perceived, "legitimacy deficits", "legitimacy problems" and  "legitimacy backlashes", or attempts at assessing or improving the legitimacy of these courts.  Yet even a cursory glance at these debates reveals that the term "legitimacy" is used in multiple, and sometimes, incompatible, ways and that few discussants provide an explicit account of what they mean by legitimacy. It is also clear that there are disciplinary difference and that legal scholars, political scientists and political philosophers typically use the term in different ways. Hence when there are disagreements about the legitimacy of various international courts there is not always even agreement on what one is in disagreement about.  The presentation starts from a  proposal on how best to conceptualize and measure the legitimacy of international criminal courts recently published by Langvatn and Squatrito, but goes on to explore how this framework can be developed in a way that makes it useful for analyzing and conceptualizing legitimacy in the context of interdisciplinary discussion of international courts more generally. Suggestions on how to improve and develop this framework will be most welcome. 



PluriCourt Seminars are a forum for pluridisciplinary discussion of core issues relating to international courts and tribunals. PluriCourts scholars or invited speakers present new and ongoing research or comment on current questions. The seminars are open to everyone.

Tags: Criminal Law
Published May 30, 2017 3:05 PM - Last modified May 30, 2017 3:05 PM