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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

International Constitutional Review

International Constitutional Review

(p.282) Chapter 8 International Constitutional Review
The New Terrain of International Law

Karen J. Alter

Princeton University Press

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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