Backlash against International Courts: Explaining the Forms and Patterns of Resistance to International Courts

Item Reference: 
iCourts Working Paper 118
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iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts
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iCourts Working Paper Series
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The article investigates and theorises different forms and patterns of resistance to international courts and develops an analytical framework for explaining their variability. In order to make intelligible the resistance that many international courts are currently facing, the article first unpacks the concept of resistance. It then introduces a key distinction between mere pushback from individual member states or other actors, seeking to influence the future direction of a court’s case law, and actual backlash – a critique triggering significant institutional reform or even the dismantling of tribunals. On the basis on the proposed theoretical framework, the article provides a roadmap for empirical studies of resistance to ICs, considering the key contextual factors necessary to take into account in such studies.

International Courts, international tribunals, institutional reform, legal authority, resistance, empirical studies.