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On the Democratic Legitimation of International Judicial Lawmaking

  • Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke


While the introductory contribution addressed the questions and definitions of our research into judicial lawmaking, this concluding chapter discusses strategies regarding the justification of international judicial lawmaking that our introduction sought to capture and that the volume set out to present. How can one square such lawmaking with the principle of democracy? A first response could be to negate the phenomenon. If there were no such thing as judicial lawmaking, there would evidently be no need for its justification. This response, though unconvincing, merits attention all the same because, according to the traditional and still widespread view of international dispute settlement, international decisions flow from the consent of the state parties to the dispute, both from the consensual basis of the applicable law and from consent-based jurisdiction. If state parties are democratic, then the presence of their consent should solve any legitimate question as long as the courts only fulfill their task of dispute settlement properly. This explains the emphasis that traditional schools of thought place on the cognitive paradigm and on the principle that judges are limited to applying the law to the dispute at hand.

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1 Kelsen, Hans, Law and Peace in International Relations 165 (1942).

2 Apart from this, international courts can, for instance, foster democratization through a democracy oriented human rights jurisprudence. See Eur. Court H.R., Matthews v. Great Britain, Case No. 24833/94, Judgment of 18 February 1999. Cf. Georg Ress, Das Europäische Parlament als Gesetzgeber: Der Blickpunkt der EMRK, 2 Zeitschrift für Europarechtliche Studien 219, 226 (1999); Martinez, Jenny, Towards an International Judicial System, 56 Stanford Law Review 429, 461 (2003) (seeing this as the main function of international jurisprudence).

3 Oellers-Frahm, Karin, Nowhere to Go? The Obligation to Settle Disputes Peacefully in the Absence of Compulsory Jurisdiction, in: A Wiser Century?, 435, 440 (Thomas Giegerich ed., 2009); Thiele, Carmen, Fragmentierung des Völkerrechts als Herausforderung für die Staatengemeinschaft, 46 Archiv des Völkerrechts 1, 13 (2008).

4 In detail, see Markus Benzing, Community Interests in the Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals, 5 The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals 369, 373 (2006).

5 Broude, Tomer, The Rule(s) of Trade and the Rhetos of Development: Reflections on the Functional and Aspirational Legitimacy of the WTO, 45 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 221 (2006–07); Paolo Picone & Aldo Ligustro, Diritto dell'Organizzazione mondiale del commercio 26 (2002).

6 Dolzer, & Schreuer, , Principles of International Investment Law 149 (2008); Thomas W. Wälde, The Umbrella Clause in Investment Arbitration: A Comment on Original Intentions and Recent Cases, 6 Journal of World Investment & Trade 183 (2005).

7 Howse, Robert & Esserman, Susan, The Appellate Body, the WTO Dispute Settlement System, and the Politics of Multilateralism, in: The WTO at Ten: The Contribution of the Dispute Settlement System, 61 (Giorgio Sacerdoti, Alan Yanovich & Jan Bohanes eds, 2006) (pointing to a number of instances in which adjudication in the WTO overcame deadlocks in processes of political negotiation).

8 For a brilliant description of what happens if the difference between courts and politics collapses, see Marcelo Neves, La concepción del Estado de derecho y su vigencia prática en Suramerica, in: Integración suramericana a través del Derecho?, 51 (Armin von Bogdandy, César Landa Arroyo & Mariela Morales Antoniazzi eds, 2009).

9 Failure to state reasons is also one of the few possible grounds for annulment in the ICSID system (Art. 52(1)(e) ICSID-Convention). See further Art. 41 Rules of Procedure of the European Nuclear Energy Tribunal (5 September 1965). See also Alf Ross, Theorie der Rechtsquellen 283 (1929); Kriele, Martin, Theorie der Rechtsgewinnung 167–71 (1976).

10 The function of this discourse for the democratic legitimation of a decision is discussed below, see infra section II.A.

11 Binder, Christina, The Prohibition of Amnesties by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in this issue; Karin Oellers-Frahm, Lawmaking through Advisory Opinions?, in this issue.

12 Brandom, Robert B., Some Pragmatist Themes in Hegel's Idealism: Negotiation and Administration in Hegel's Account of the Structure and Content of Conceptual Norms, 7 European Journal of Philosophy 164, 181 (1999) (“[t]he current judge is held accountable to the tradition she inherits by the judges yet to come.”). See in illuminating detail Jasper Liptow, Regel und Interpretation. Eine Untersuchung zur sozialen Struktur sprachlicher Praxis 220–26 (2004). See also Armin von Bogdandy & Ingo Venzke, Beyond Dispute: International Judicial Institutions as Lawmakers, in this issue.

13 Although it is, at least empirically seen, a necessary element. Some important lawmaking decisions are supported by very little reasoning, for example the introduction of the erga-omnes rule by the ICJ, see Niels Petersen, Lawmaking by the International Court of Justice – Factors of Success, in this issue.

14 Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court, FCC), 6 July 2010, 2 BvR 2661/06, for an English translation, see The judgment deals with the European Court of Justice (ECJ), but the FCC—engaging in general lawmaking—formulates a general point applicable not just to the ECJ as a supranational court, but also to international courts in general. In fact, the lawmaking by the European Court of Human Rights is at least as relevant for the FCC as that of the ECJ.

15 Id., para. 64 (“There is particular reason for further development of the law by judges where programmes are fleshed out, gaps are closed, contradistinctions of evaluation are resolved”).

16 Id. (“Further development of the law transgresses these boundaries if it changes clearly recognisable statutory decisions which may even be explicitly documented in the wording (of the Treaties), or creates new provisions without sufficient connection to legislative statements. This is above all not permissible where case-law makes fundamental policy decisions over and above individual cases or as a result of the further development of the law causes structural shifts to occur in the system of the sharing of constitutional power and influence.”).

17 See, still more clearly in this line of argument, FCC, 12 October 1993, 89 BVerfGE 155.

18 Habermas, Jürgen, Faktizität und Geltung 192 (1992). Cf. Armin von Bogdandy & Ingo Venzke, Zur Herrschaft internationaler Gerichte: Eine Untersuchung internationaler öffentlicher Gewalt und ihrer demokratischen Rechtfertigung, 70 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 1, 14 (2010); Kuhli, Milan & Günther, Klaus, Judicial Lawmaking, Discourse Theory, and the ICTY on Belligerent Reprisals, in this issue.

19 Habermas (note 18), 192–93, 229–37.

20 Id., 188–91; Klaus Günther, Communicative Freedom, Communicative Power, and Jurisgenesis, 17 Cardozo Law Review 1035 (1996).

21 Habermas (note 18), 150.

22 Id., 172.

23 Habermas (note 18), 439–40. Tobias Lieber, Diskursive Vernunft und formelle Gleichheit. Zu Demokratie, Gewaltenteilung und Rechtsanwendung in der Rechtstheorie von Jürgen Habermas 222 (2007).

24 See Jacob, Marc, Precedents: Lawmaking Through International Adjudication, in this issue (suggesting that convincingness in legal argumentation in general is about more than just sources and their “correct” application).

25 On the reasons why the international judiciary should not be understood as constitutional adjudication, see von Bogdandy & Venzke (note 18).

26 Von Bogdandy & Venzke (note 12), section C.I.

27 Kelsen, Hans, Peace through Law (1944).

28 Lauterpacht, Hersch, The Function of Law in the International Community 249–50 (1933).

29 Fyrnys, Markus, Expanding Competences by Judicial Lawmaking: The Pilot Judgment Procedure of the European Court of Human Rights, in this issue.

30 See Binder (note 11).

31 Kelsen, Hans, General Theory of Law and State 145-46 (1945).

32 Dworkin, Ronald, Justice in Robes (2006); Koch, Hans-Joachim & Helmut Rüßmann, Juristische Begründungslehre 5, 69, 221 (1982). See also Hersch Lauterpacht, The Development of International Law by the International Court 39 (1958).

33 Kuhli & Günther (note 18), section D.

34 Cf. Abi-Saab, Georges, The Appellate Body and Treaty Interpretation, in: The WTO at Ten: The Contribution of the Dispute Settlement System, 453, 462 (Giorgio Sacerdoti, Alan Yanovich & Jan Bohanes eds, 2006) (asking whether it is not better “to shed the camouflage” if the true reasons are hidden by technical legal reasoning).

35 Koskenniemi, Martti, The Fate of Public International Law: Between Technique and Politics, 70 Modern Law Review 1 (2007)

36 Art. 31(1) VCLT; cf. Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff, Rechtsfolgen und Realfolgen 139 et seq. (1981).

37 Irwin, Douglas A. & Weiler, Joseph H.H., Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services (DS 285), 7 World Trade Review 71 (2008) (criticizing the ‘textual fetish and policy phobia’ of the Appellate Body).

38 Consider, for example, Appellate Body Report, United States – Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, WB/DS58/AB/R, 12 October 1998, paras 154 & 168. Cf. Isabelle Van Damme, Treaty Interpretation by the WTO Appellate Body, 21 EJIL 605 (2010).

39 Fyrnys (note 29).

40 Von Bogdandy & Venzke (note 12), section C.1.

41 The study of such outcomes and an attempt of their doctrinal classification has been the focus of an earlier research, see Armin von Bogdandy, Philipp Dann & Matthias Goldmann, Developing the Publicness of Public International law: Towards a Legal Framework for Global Governance Activities, 9 German Law Journal 1375 (2008); Goldmann, Matthias, Inside Relative Normativity: From Sources to Standard Instruments for the Exercise of International Public Authority, 9 German Law Journal 1865 (2008).

42 Note, for example, how state representatives do invest considerable time in discussing judicial reports in the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body. On further elements of politicization in this context, see Tomer Broude, International Governance in the WTO: Judicial Boundaries and Political Capitulation 335–44 (2004); Feichtner, Isabel, The Waiver Power of the WTO: Opening the WTO for Political Debate on the Reconciliation of Public Interests, 20 EJIL 615 (2009).

43 Weber, Max, Wissenschaft als Beruf, in: 17 Max Weber Gesamtausgabe, 506 (Wolfgang J. Mommsen & Wolfgang Schluchter eds, 1992).

44 On the issue of hegemony, see Eyal Benvenisti & George Downs, Prospects for the Increased Independence of International Tribunals, in this issue.

45 Forst, Rainer, Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung 7 (2007); Kelsen, Hans, Allgemeine Staatslehre 27 et seq. (1925) (differentiating between “politics as ethics” and “politics as technique”).

46 Venzke, Ingo, International Bureaucracies in a Political Science Perspective – Agency, Authority and International Institutional Law, 9 German Law Journal 1401, 1425 (2008).

47 Franck, Thomas, Fairness in International Law and Institutions (1995).

48 In more detail, Kuhli & Günther (note 18), section D.

49 It would conversely be problematic to give legal effect to international standards in relation to parties that have not consented to such standards, as has arguably happened weith Appellate Body Report, EC – Trade Description of Sardines, WT/DS231/AB/R, 26 September 2002. Cf. Robert Howse, A New Device for Creating International Legal Normativity: The WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and ‘International Standards', in: Constitutionalism, Multilevel Trade Governance and Social Regulation, 383 (Christian Joerges and Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann eds, 2006).

50 See Koskenniemi, Martti & Leino, Päivi, Fragmentation of International Law? Postmodern Anxieties, 15 Leiden Journal of International Law 553 (2002). While this is debatable as a general and timeless claim, examples are not hard to come by. The jurisprudence under the GATT, at least in its early years, testifies to this proposition just as well as instances of investment arbitration. See Bruno Simma & Theodore Kill, Harmonizing Investment Protection and International Human Rights: First Steps Towards a Methodology, in: International Investment Law for the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Christoph Schreuer, 678 (Christina Binder, Ursula Kriebaum, August Reinisch & Stephan Wittich eds, 2009); Venzke, Ingo, Making General Exceptions: The Spell of Precedents in Developing Article XX GATT into Standards for Domestic Regulatory Policy, in this issue.

51 At least since the 2001 ILC Fragmentation Report, a vivid discussion concerning the scope of this rule of interpretation has emerged, see International Law Commission, Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law, 13 April 2006, UN Doc. A/CN.4/L.682. Cf. the special issue 17 Finnish Yearbook of International Law (2006); McLachlan, Campbell, The Principle of Systemic Integration and Article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention, 54 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 279 (2005); French, Duncan, Treaty Interpretation and the Incorporation of Extraneous Legal Rules, 55 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 300 (2006).

52 ILC, Fragmentation Report (note 51), para. 479.

53 Id.

54 Still in this line of reasoning, Herbert L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law 92, 156, 214, (1997 [1961]). Cf. David Kennedy, Primitive Legal Scholarship, 27 Harvard International Law Journal 1 (1986); Craven, Matthew, Unity, Diversity and the Fragmentation of International Law, 14 Finnish Yearbook of International Law 3, 9 (2005).

55 Christensen, Ralph & Kudlich, Hans, Gesetzesbindung. Vom vertikalen zum horizontalen Verständnis 139 (2008); Oeter, Stefan, Vielfalt der Gerichte – Einheit des Prozessrechts?, in: Die Rechtskontrolle von Organen der Staatengemeinschaft, 149, 158 (Rainer Hofmann, August Reinisch, Thomas Pfeiffer, Stefan Oeter & Astrid Stadler eds, 2007); Simma & Kill (note 50), 686.

56 Simma, Bruno & Pulkowski, Dirk, Of Planets and the Universe: Self-Contained Regimes in International Law, 17 EJIL 483 (2006); Dupuy, Pierre-Marie, L'unité de l'ordre juridique international, 297 Recueil des Cours 12, 89 (2002).

57 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 1 Wissenschaft der Logik 59 (1932 [1812]).

58 Kleinlein, Thomas, Judicial Lawmaking by Judicial Restraint? The Potential of Balancing in International Economic Law, in this issue.

59 ILC, Fragmentation Report (note 51), para. 493.

60 Cf. Sabino Cassese, When Legal Orders Collide: The Role of Courts 111–19 (2010) (suggesting that the latter effect will dominate).

61 ILC, Fragmentation Report (note 51), para. 410.

62 Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) Notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, ICJ Reports 1971, 16, para. 53.

63 Appellate Body Report, United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, WT/DS2/AB/R, 29 April 1996, 17.

64 Benedek, Wolfgang, Die Rechtsordnung des GATT aus völkerrechtlicher Sicht (1990) (critically on the early tendencies to understand the GATT as an independent legal order).

65 Cf. Simma, Bruno, Self-Contained Regimes, 16 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 111 (1985); Pauwelyn, Jost, Conflict of Norms in Public International Law 37 (2003); ILC, Fragmentation Report (note 55), para. 174.

66 Dworkin, Ronald, Taking Rights Seriously (1977).

67 Habermas (note 18), 224.

68 Teitel, Ruit G. & Howse, Robert, Cross-Judging: Tribunalization in a Fragmented but Interconnected Global Order, 41 NYU Journal of International Law and Politics 959 (2009); Oeter (note 55); Yuval Shany, The Competing Jurisdictions of International Courts and Tribunals 272 (2003); Sauer, Heiko, Jurisdiktionskonflikte in Mehrebenensystemen 107 (2008); Picone, Paolo, I conflitti tra metodi diversi di coordinamento tra ordinamenti, 82 Rivista di diritto internazionale 325 (1999); Sandrini, Lidia, La concorrenza tra il Comitato per i diritti umani e la Corte europea dei diritti dell'uomo nell'esame di istanze individuali: brevi note sulle clausole di coordinamento, in: Liber Fausto Pocar, Diritti individuali e giustizia internazionale, 837 (Gabriella Venturini & Stefania Bariatti eds, 2009).

69 Kleinlein (note 58).

70 Treves, Tullio, Judicial Lawmaking in an Era of “Proliferation” of International Courts and Tribunals: Development or Fragmentation of International Law?, in: Developments of International Law in Treaty Making, 587 (Rüdiger Wolfrum & Volker Röben eds, 2005). Rosalyn Higgins, A Babel of Judicial Voices? Ruminations from the Bench, 55 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 791 (2006); Simma, Bruno, Fragmentation in a Positive Light, 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 845 (2004).

71 Oellers-Frahm, Karin, Multiplication of International Courts and Tribunals and Conflicting Jurisdiction: Problems and Possible Solutions, 5 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 67 (2001); Oeter (note 55), 167–70.

72 Terris, Daniel, Cesare P.R. Romano & Leigh Swigart, The International Judge: An Inquiry into the Men and Women Who Decide the World's Cases 64 (2007).

73 Schachter, Oscar, The Invisible College of International Lawyers, 72 Northwestern University Law Review 217 (1977). David Kennedy, The Politics of the Invisible College: International Governance and the Politics of Expertise, 5 European Human Rights Law Review 463 (2001) (unfolding a pointed critique of the apologetic sides to the idea of an invisible college).

74 Kuhli & Günther (note 18), section D.

75 Benvenist & Downs (note 44).

76 Art. 2 Statute of the ICC corresponds to Art. 4 Statute of the ICJ.

77 Mackenzie, Ruth & Sands, Philippe, Judicial Selection for International Courts: Towards Common Principles and Practices, in: Appointing Judges in an Age of Judicial Power: Critical Perspectives from Around the World, 213, 223 (Katie Malleson & Peter Russell eds, 2006); Keohane, Robert D., Andrew Moravcsik & Anne-Marie Slaughter, Legalized Dispute Resolution: Interstate and Transnational, 54 International Organization 457, 476 (2000).

78 Art. 36 (3) Statute of the ICC. See Mackenzie & Sands (note 77), 228.

79 Byron, Dennis & Malcolm, Christopher, Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in: Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2009).

80 Art. 49 (2) Statute of the ICC; Art. 7 (1) Statute of the ITLOS; Yuval Shany & Sigall Horovitz, Judicial Independence in The Hague and Freetown: A Tale of Two Cities, 21 Leiden Journal of International Law 113 (2008).

81 Prosecutor v. Furundzija, Judgment of 21 July 2010, Case No. IT-95-17/1 A, para. 189.

82 Shetreet, Shimon, Standards of Conduct of International Judges: Outside Activites, 2 The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals 127 (2003).

83 For an elaboration of these visions, see Armin von Bogdandy & Sergio Dellavalle, Universalism and Particularism as Paradigms of International Law, IILJ Working Paper (2008/3), available at:

84 Cf. Art. II 2(2) U.S. Constitution; Art. 94 German Basic Law; Art. 150 Constitution of Estonia; Art. 135 Constitution of Italy; Art. 58 Constitution of Latvia; Art. 103 Constitution of Lithuania; Art. 147 Constitution of Austria; Art. 149 Constitution of Poland; Art. 159 Constitution of Spain. See also Appointing Judges in an Age of Judicial Power: Critical Perspectives from Around the World (Kate Malleson & Peter Russell eds, 2006); Tate, C. Neal & Vallinder, Torbjörn, The Global Expansion of Judicial Power (1995).

85 Arts 3, 4, 9, 10 and 13 Statute of the ICJ.

86 Prott, Lyndel v., The Latent Power of Culture and the International Judge (1979).

87 Art. 31(2–3) ICJ-Statute. Cf. Iain Scobbie, Une hérésie en matière judiciaire? The Role of the Judge ad hoc in the International Court, 4 The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals 421 (2005). The far younger ITLOS also provides for judges ad hoc, Art. 17 ITLOS Statute.

88 Sands, Philippe, The Independence of the International Judiciary: Some Introductory Thoughts, in: Law in the Service of Human Dignity. Essays in Honour of Florentino Feliciano, 313, 319 (Steve Charnovitz, Debora Steger & Peter van den Bossche eds, 2005); Terris, , Romano & Swigart (note 72), 23.

89 Cf. Krisch, Nico, The Pluralism of Global Administrative Law, 17 EJIL 247, 253 (2006) (sketching these competing constituencies with regard to the accountability of international bureaucracies); see also Erika de Wet, Holding International Institutions Accountable: The Complementary Role of Non-Judicial Oversight Mechanisms and Judicial Review, 11 German Law Journal 1987, 1989 (2008).

90 Posner, Eric & Yoo, John, Judicial Independence in International Tribunals, 93 California Law Review 1 (2005).

91 In line with this, the German parliament will have a say on the selection of Future German ECJ judges, see Richterwahlgesetz in der Fassung des Gesetzes über die Ausweitung und Stärkung der Rechte des Bundestages und des Bundesrates in Angelegenheiten der Europäischen Union, 22 September 2009, paras. 1 and 3.

92 See Arndt, Felix, Parliamentary Assemblies, International, in: MPEPIL (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2006).

93 Art. 22 ECHR. See Jochen Abr. Frowein, Art. 22, in: EMRK-Kommentar (Jochen Abr. Frowein & Wolfgang Peukert, 2009), para. 2.

94 See, however, ECtHR Grand Chamber, Advisory Opinion on certain legal questions concerning the lists of candidates submitted with a view to the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights, 12 February 2008 (holding that such a list should not be rejected if a state has indeed taken all steps to find at least one female candidate). This was the court's first ever advisory opinion. Also note that some statutes explicitly try to address the disproportionately weak representation of women, see, e.g., Art. 36 (8)(a)(iii) ICC-Statute.

95 Habermas, Jürgen, Die postnationale Konstellation 165 (1998).

96 Habermas, Jürgen, Does the Constitutionalization of International Law Still have a Chance?, in: The Divided West, 113, 141 (Ciaran Cronin trans., 2006).

97 Habermas, Jürgen, Konstitutionalisierung des Völkerrechts und die Legitimationsprobleme einer verfassten Weltgesellschaft, in: Rechtspilosophie im 21. Jahrhundert, 360, 362 (Winfried Brugger, Ulfried Neumann & Stephan Kirste eds, 2008).

99 Chinkin, Christine, Art. 62, in: Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary, 1331, 1366 (Andreas Zimmermann, Christian Tomuschat & Karin Oellers-Frahm eds, 2006); Palchetti, Paolo, Opening the International Court of Justice to Third States Intervention and Beyond, 6 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 139 (2002); Wolfrum, Rüdiger, Intervention in the Proceedings before the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, in: Liber amicorum Günther Jaenicke - zum 85. Geburtstag, 427 (Volkmar Götz, Peter Selmer & Rüdiger Wolfrum eds, 1998).

100 The notion of procedural law describes the body of requirements that govern how a judicial process has to be conducted. No uniform procedural law for all courts is thereby postulated. Robert Kolb, General Principles of Procedural Law, in: Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary, 793, 795 (Andreas Zimmermann, Christian Tomuschat & Karin Oellers-Frahm eds, 2006); Brown, Chester, A Common Law of International Adjudication 6 (2007).

101 Sorel, Jean-Marc, International Courts and Tribunals, Procedure, in: MPEPIL (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2009), margin number 1.

102 Other dimensions include the establishment of facts and rules of evidence, both may be relevant for the legitimation of international adjudication, possibly less so, however, with regard to international judicial lawmaking. See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay), Joint Dissenting Opinion of Judges Al-Khasawneh and Simma, 20 April 2010, para. 8 (lamenting that the court excessively relied on expertise offered by the parties and arguing that the court should have either appointed its own experts or had party-appointed experts subjected to cross-examination); Markus Benzing, Das Beweisrecht vor internationalen Gerichten und Schiedsgerichten in zwischenstaatlichen Streitigkeiten (2010).

103 Art. 46 ICJ-Statute; Art. 59 ICJ Rules of Court; Art. 26(2) ITLOS-Statute; Art. 74 Rules of ITLOS; Art. 40 ECHR; Art. 63(2) Rules of ECtHR; Arts 67, 68(2) ICC-Statute. See Sorel (note 101), margin number 18; Sabine von Schorlemer, Art. 46, in: Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary, 1063, 1070 (Andreas Zimmermann, Christian Tomuschat & Karin Oellers-Frahm eds, 2006).

104 Arts 14(1), 18(2) & 17(10) DSU provide that procedures and written submissions are confidential. Lothar Ehring, Public Access to Dispute Settlement Hearings in the World Trade Organization, 11 Journal of International Economic Law 1021 (2008).

105 Consultative Board to the Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, The Future of the WTO: Addressing Institutional Challenges in the New Millennium (“Sutherland Report”) (2004), paras 261 et seq.

106 Weiler, Joseph H.H., The Rule of Lawyers and the Ethos of Diplomats. Reflections on the Internal and External Legitimacy of WTO Dispute Settlement, 35 Journal of World Trade 191 (2001); Peter van den Bossche, From Afterthought to Centrepiece: The WTO Appellate Body and its Rise to Prominence in the World Trading System, in: The WTO at Ten: The Contribution of the Dispute Settlement System, 289 (Giorgio Sacerdoti, Alan Yanovich & Jan Bohanes eds, 2006); Ehlermann, Claus-Dieter, Six Years on the Bench of the “World Trade Court” – Some Personal Experiences as Member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, 36 Journal of World Trade 605 (2002).

107 Panel Report, Canada – Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC – Hormones Dispute, WT/DS321/R, 31 March 2008, para. 7.47.

108 Appellate Body Report, United States – Continued Existence and Application of Zeroing Methodology, WT/DS350/AB/R, 4 February 2009, Annex III, para. 4.

109 Brower, Charles N., Charles H. Brower II & Jeremy K. Sharpe, The Coming Crisis in the Global Adjudication System, 19 Arbitration International 415 (2003); Zoellner, Carl-Sebastian, Third-Party Participation (NGOs and Private Persons) and Transparency in ICSID Proceedings, in: The International Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), 179 (Rainer Hofmann & Christian Tams eds, 2007); McLachlan, Campbell, Laurence Shore & Matthew Weiniger, International Investment Arbitration. Substantive Principles 57 (2007).

110 OECD, Transparency and Third Party Participation, in: Investor-State Dispute Settlement Procedures: Statement by the OECD Investment Committee, 1 (2005).

111 Rule 32 (2) ICSID Rules of Procedure (10 April 2006). From legal practice, see, for instance, Aguas Argentinas, S.A., Suez Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, S.A. and Vivendi Unviersal, S.A. v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/19, Order in Response to a Petition for Transparency and Participation as Amicus Curiae of 19 May 2005, para. 6. See also McLachlan, Shore & Weiniger (note 109), 57.

112 Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia v. Malaysia), Application by the Philippines for Permission to Intervene, Judgment of 23 October 2001, ICJ Reports 575, para. 35.

113 Zimmermann, Andreas, International Courts and Tribunals, Intervention in Proceedings, in: MPEPIL (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2006).

114 Arts 4(11), 10, 17(4) & 21 DSU. Cf. Meinhard Hilf, Das Streitbeilegungssystem der WTO, in: WTO-Recht. Rechtsordnung des Welthandels, 505, 521 (Meinhard Hilf & Stepfan Oeter eds, 2005); McRae, Donald, What is the Future of WTO Dispute Settlement?, 7 Journal of International Economic Law 2 (2004).

115 Art. 10 & Appendix 3(6) DSU. Cf. Katrin Arend, Article 10 DSU, in: 2 Max Planck Commentaries on World Trade Law, 373 (Rüdiger Wolfrum, Peter-Tobias Stoll & Karen Kaiser eds, 2006).

116 See Peter van den Bossche, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization 279 (2008).

117 Delaney, Joachim & Magraw, Daniel B., Procedural Transparency, in: The Oxford Handbook of International Investment Law, 721, 775 (Peter Muchlinski, Federico Ortino & Christoph Schreuer eds, 2009).

118 Sands, Philippe & Mackenzie, Ruth, International Courts and Tribunals, Amicus Curiae, in: MPEPIL (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2009), margin number 2; Zimmermann (note 113), margin number 1. Terminology is by no means used consistently. See Luisa Vierucci, NGOs before International Courts and Tribunals, in: NGOs in International Law. Efficiency in Flexibility?, 155, 156 (Pierre-Marie Dupuy & Luisa Vierucci eds, 2008); Ascensio, Hervé, L'amicus curiae devant les juridictions internationales, 105 Revue Generale de Droit International Public 897 (2001).

119 Habermas (note 18) 303, 382; Patrizia Nanz & Jens Steffek, Zivilgesellschaftliche Partizipation und die Demokratisierung internationalen Regierens, in: Anarchie der kommunikativen Freiheit. Jürgen Habermas und die Theorie der internationalen Politik, 87 (Peter Niesen & Benjamin Herborth eds, 2007); Bernstorff, Jochen von, Zivilgesellschaftliche Partizipation in Internationalen Organisationen: Form globaler Demokratie oder Baustein westlicher Expertenherrschaft?, in: Demokratie in der Weltgesellschaft, 18 Soziale Welt Sonderband 277 (Hauke Brunkhorst ed., 2009).

120 In detail, see Wolfrum (note 99).

121 The answer was an easy one because the NGO had tried to base its claim on Art. 34 ICJ-Statute, whose relevant paragraph 3 is shaped to fit public international organizations. Therefore, the simple conclusion that the NGO is not a public international organization sufficed. See Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Article 34, in: Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary, 545, 548 (Andreas Zimmermann, Christian Tomuschat & Karin Oellers-Frahm eds, 2006); Lindblom, Anna-Karin, Non-Governmental Organisations in International Law 303 (2005); Valencia-Ospina, Eduardo, Non-Governmental Organizations and the International Court of Justice, in: Civil society, international courts and compliance bodies, 277 (Tullio Treves, Marco Frigessi di Rattalma, Attila Tanzi, Alessandro Fodella, Cesare Pitea & Chiara Ragni eds, 2005).

122 Art. 66 ICJ-Statute.

123 Lindblom (note 121).

124 Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary v. Slovakia), Judgment of 25 September 1997, ICJ Reports 1997, 7.

125 See ICJ Practice Direction XII (2004).

126 Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion of 8 July 1996, Separate Opinion of Judge Guillaume, ICJ Reports 1996, 287.

127 Howse, Robert, Membership and its Privileges: the WTO, Civil Society, and the Amicus Brief Controversy, 9 European Law Journal 496 (2003); Mavroidis, Petros C., Amicus Curiae Briefs Before the WTO: Much Ado About Nothing, in: European Integration and International Co-ordination. Studies in Transnational Economic Law in Honour of Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, 317 (Armin von Bogdandy, Yves Mény & Petros C. Mavroidis eds, 2002); McRae (note 114), 2.

128 Appellate Body Report, United States - Import Prohibition of certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, WT/DS58/AB/R, 12 October 1998, para. 106. The EC-Asbestos Case was also of great importance, see especially WTO Appellate Body Communication, WTO Doc. WT/DS135/9, 8 November 2000; and Minutes of the Meeting of the General Council Held on 22 November 2000, WTO Doc. WT/GC/M/60, 23 January 2001.

129 See Delaney & Magraw (note 117).

130 NAFTA Free Trade Commission, Recommendation on Non-disputing Party Participation, 7 October 2004.

131 OECD, Transparency and Third Party Participation (note 110).

132 Art. 37(2) Arbitration Rules. Cf. Possible Improvements of the Framework for ICSID Arbitration, ICSID Secretariat Discussion Paper, 22 October 2004.

133 See Benvenisti & Downs (note 44) (sharpening the understanding of how powerful states and sectoral interests strategically use international judicial institutions).

134 Brimmer, Esther, International Politics Needs International Law, in: Regards d'une Génération sur le Droit International, 113 (Emmanuelle Jouannet, Hélène Ruiz Fabri & Jean-Marc Sorel eds, 2008); Koskenniemi, Martti, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations 494 (2001).

135 Howse, Robert & Nicolaïdis, Kalypso, Democracy without Sovereignty: The Global Vocation of Political Ethics, in: The Shifting Allocation of Authority in International Law: Considering Sovereignty, Supremacy and Subsidiarity, 163 (Tomer Broude & Yuval Shany eds, 2008).

136 In detail, see Armin von Bogdandy, Pluralism, Direct Effect, and the Ultimate Say: On the Relationship between International and Domestic Constitutional Law, 6 International Journal of Constitutional Law 397 (2008).

137 Art. 50 Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts.

138 Case C-93/02 P, Établissements Biret et Cie SA v. Council of the EU, 2003 E.C.R. I-10497; Joined Cases C-402/05 P & 415/05 P, Kadi & Al Barakaat v. Council of the EU & EC Commission, 2008 E.C.R. I-6351 (also following this logic).

139 Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), 14 October 2004, 2 BvR1481/04, 111 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts 307, for an English translation, see Cf. Nico Krisch, The Open Architecture of European Human Rights Law, 71 Modern Law Review 183 (2008); on the role of domestic courts, Eyal Benvenisti, Reclaiming Democracy: The Strategic Uses of Foreign and International Law by National Courts, 102 AJIL 241 (2008).

* Armin von Bogdandy is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL), Heidelberg, Professor of Law at the Goethe University, Frankfurt, and President of the OECD Nuclear Energy Tribunal. Ingo Venzke is a Hauser Research Scholar at New York University Law School and a Research Fellow at the MPIL; this author's work was supported by the Postdoc-Program of the German Academic Exchange Service. Both authors wish to thank Rudolf Bernhardt, Jochen von Bernstorff, Sabino Cassese, Jochen Frowein, Yuval Shany, Bruno Simma, Rüdiger Wolfrum, and all participants of the present collaborative research project for their comments on earlier versions of this contribution.

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On the Democratic Legitimation of International Judicial Lawmaking

  • Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke


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