This chapter examines the practice of deference to the executive, by national courts, in the context of interpreting treaties. When faced with an issue of treaty interpretation, to what extent must a national court engage in its own independent analysis, and to what extent ought the court give weight to interpretations advanced by the executive branch? And if deference to the executive is permissible as a matter of international doctrine, what considerations ought to guide the manner of deference, and the determination of how much deference is appropriate? I argue that international law does not formally preclude national judicial deference to the executive. However the deeper question of how much weight is appropriate is more complicated, and raises serious questions of judicial policy.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Arato, Julian. "Deference to the Executive." In Converging Approaches? Domestic Courts and the Interpretation of International Law, edited by Georg Nolte and Helmut Aust, 198-217. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.