The elective branches get most of the attention when we think about democracy. But it's important to remember that one of the things that a democratic government provides is a number of structures by which disputes may be resolved peacefully. Indeed, voting itself is one way of resolving conflict at a societal level. In the United States, courts historically have been the starting point for the resolution of individual, and sometimes social, disputes. Courts would seem to exude a great deal of democratic legitimacy, but why, and under what conditions? And what about other methods of dispute resolution: How do they relate to democratic governance, if at all?
Richard C. Reuben,
The Democratic Legitimacy of Government-Related Dispute Resolution, 12 Dispute Resolution Magazine 23
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/810