Washington International Law Journal


Courts are known to be political actors. National courts play the political game in the national domain. International courts play it in the international sphere. This article studies the transformation of national courts into international political actors (IPAs), and the part international law plays in so making them. The article identifies, categorizes, and demonstrates the influence of national courts and judges on international relations (IR), separating the influence into two main categories: direct and indirect. Direct influence, is the effect of a national court taking a position on international issues in concrete situations with immediate IR implications. Indirect influence is the effect of a national court supporting trends that transform international politics (specifically legalization and judicialization of IR) through national courts and judges’ contribution to the empowerment of international law. This process progresses as national courts increase their engagement with international law, making national courts stronger and more significant actors in international politics.

First Page