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The New Terrain of International LawCourts, Politics, Rights$
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Karen J. Alter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154749

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154749.001.0001

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International Constitutional Review

International Constitutional Review

Chapter:
(p.282) Chapter 8 International Constitutional Review
Source:
The New Terrain of International Law
Author(s):

Karen J. Alter

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154749.003.0008

This chapter analyzes four additional case studies of international courts (ICs) reviewing state practices. In their constitutional review role, ICs hold international and state actors accountable to constitutional procedural and rule of law expectations, invalidating legislative acts that conflict with higher order legal requirements. Constitutional review is perhaps the most controversial IC role in that it involves ICs confronting highly legitimated actors and rejecting policies that may have been legally enacted. The discussion of constitutional review authority in action explores how local cultures of constitutional obedience condition whether IC constitutional rulings are seen as rendering unconstitutional acts null and void. However, like their domestic counterparts, ICs cannot really force governments to comply with their ruling.

Keywords:   constitutional review, international courts, state practices, rule of law, legitimated actors, constitutional obedience, unconstitutional acts

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