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.
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.
List of Illustrations ix Case Study Index xi Preface xv List of Abbreviations xxv PART I: Delegating Authority to International Courts, a Global View 1 Chapter 1: The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights 3 Chapter 2: International Courts Altering Politics 32 Chapter 3: The New International Courts 68 Chapter 4: World History and the Evolving International Judiciary 112 PART II: International Courts in Action 161 Chapter 5: International Dispute Settlement 163 Chapter 6: International Administrative Review 199 Chapter 7: International Law Enforcement 244 Chapter 8: International Constitutional Review 282 PART III: Courts, Politics, Rights 333 Chapter 9: International Courts and Democratic Politics 335 Chapter Appendixes 367 Legal Cases Index and Citations 401 Court Treaty Bibliography and Litigation Data Sources 407 Bibliography of Cited Works 415 Index 441