Increasing the deliberative engagement of parliaments with international norms: a contribution to trust, a manifestation thereof, a complication or even a threat?

Some express distrust towards institutions by stating that a global and increasingly informal ‘super legislator’ is imposing norms of widening scope and intensity. According to a central narrative of distrust, these norms and their interpretations lessen the room for manoeuvre of democratically elected legislators to the benefit of executives and transnational networks. Besides assessing the accuracy of this narrative, two remedies are commonly suggested: i) democratising international norm production and ii) widening legislative approval prior to treaty ratification, allowing dissent by parliaments. We argue that there are at least five reasons why these approaches alone insufficiently include dissent in the legislative processes, both at norm genesis and later when domestic parliaments are tasked to meet positive international obligations. We propose to explore what it means to increase the ‘deliberative engagement’ of domestic parliaments with international norms.