International law is constantly in search of legitimacy, has been relatively ineffective, and, like international environmental governance, is plagued by a democratic deficit. This paper presents juristic democracy as a conceptual framework for accelerated development of a global common law. Juristic democracy is based on a foundation of norms and principles derived from the consideration by innumerable citizen juries of carefully cast hypothetical cases. It offers the prospect of workable, democratic, and environment-friendly rule-governed behavior within a system of global governance that is likely to remain (and probably ought to remain) anarchic in important respects. Because of its inherent democratic legitimacy, this method for creating, interpreting, and translating international environmental norms into law could, in the initial stages, bypass states and could, unlike current international law, be universally recognized as both fact and norm. As such, it would constitute a rule-making system for earth system governance fully complementary of many other governance approaches and strategies.
The Working Paper is available here (pdf).