Do Scandinavian Care about international law? A Study of Scandinavian Judges' Citation Practice to International Law and Courts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-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
Article number85
JournalNordic Journal of International Law
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)281-302
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - international courts, international law, judicial review, legal positivism, majoritarian democracy, Scandinavian judges , supreme courts

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 170016242