Chapter

Expertise and Competence

Andrew Legg

in The Margin of Appreciation in International Human Rights Law

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199650453
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741173 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650453.003.0006

Series: Oxford Monographs in International Law

Expertise and Competence

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Giving a margin of appreciation to states on the basis of superior knowledge or expertise of local authorities is the least controversial factor. Some commentators argue that giving weight to expertise involves courts abdicating the task of decision making. This is mistaken. Expert opinion is commonly considered and assessed as part of the court's process of reaching judgment. Instead, more or less deference is given to expertise. Common grounds for deference on the basis of expertise and competence include national security, child protection, health care, education, policing and civil servants, and the economy. Stricter scrutiny is often the result of the court's own expertise, in such areas as legal procedures, length of proceedings and legal interpretation.

Keywords: epistemology; expertise; national security; child protection; health care; education; policing; civil servants; the economy; legal procedures

Chapter.  15373 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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