International Courts Improve Public Deliberation

The paper starts with the effects of international courts on the broader public and narrows down to their influence on a small elite of lawyers. Part I suggests that international courts captivate the public imagination, allowing citizens to articulate their rights. Part II demonstrates how governments, parliaments, and national courts around the world interact with international courts in ways that improve public deliberation. Part III studies the global elite of lawyers that work in conjunction with international courts to shape policy. Part IV concludes by arguing that the dialogue fostered between international courts and democratic bodies does, in fact, lead to more vibrant democratic deliberation.