Democratizing Courts: How National and International Courts are Promoting Democracy in an Era of Global Governance

Eyal Benvenisti and George W. Downs

Appeared in 46 NYU J Int’l L & Politics 742 (2014)

In this Article we argue that democratic failures at both the national and the international level can be best addressed through greater interaction and coordination between national courts and international tribunals. Such cooperation promises to enhance democracy at both levels by helping to ensure that decisionmakers take account of the interests of a greater proportion of the relevant
stakeholders and that the outcomes are therefore better informed and more balanced. We further argue that “democracy” in this context must also be understood as providing a voice to foreigners, who are often excluded from domestic and global decisionmaking processes.