Do Scandinavians Care about International Law?

Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review


Although Scandinavians are often celebrated as the vanguards of human rights and international
law, we know little about whether courts and judges in these countries have embraced those
international courts and conventions that they themselves helped establish after the Second World
War. This article presents original and comprehensive data on three Scandinavian courts’ citation
practice. It demonstrates that not only do Scandinavian Supreme Courts engage surprisingly little
with international law, but also that there is great variation in the degree to which they have
domesticated international law and courts by citing their case law. Building on this author’s
previous research, it is argued that Norway sticks out as much more engaged internationally due to
a solid judicial review tradition at the national level. It is also argued that Scandinavian legal
positivism, has influenced a much more reticent approach to international case law than would
normally be expected from this region in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
SeriesiCourts Workingpaper

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Supreme Courts, citations analysis, Scandinavian judges, majoritarian democracy, judicial review, legal positivism, international law, international courts

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