12 September 2013

Global Administrative Law

'Whose Administrative Law is it Anyway? How Global Norms Reshape the Administrative State' by Daphne Barak-Erez and Oren Perez in (2013) 46(3) Cornell International Law Journal comments that
The emergence of global norms of administrative law reshapes the administrative state. In many areas, covering diverse topics such as trade, financial regulation, public health and the environment, various international agencies have acquired increasing influence over domestic regulatory processes. The integration with the global arena requires the state to forgo some of its regulatory powers. This Article focuses on the normative challenges posed by this new reality. Part I explicates the way in which the argument presented differs from the global administrative law literature. Whereas global administrative law studies the meta-norms that regulate the activities of global administrative bodies, we focus on the way in which international norms reshape decision-making processes within domestic bureaucracies. This Article develops an analytical schema that captures the distinct impacts of global administrative law on the domestic level. This schema distinguishes between three forms of influence: the substitution of domestic administrative discretion by global standards, the emergence of universal standards of administrative due process, and the globally inspired transference of enforcement responsibilities. Part II maps the various mechanisms through which transnational regulatory processes intervene in the local realm, reshaping the contours of domestic administrative law. The Article takes a pluralistic approach by highlighting the diverse sources and paths through which global law influences the domestic realm. Thus we focus both on the influence of the WTO system, as reflected in the three recent rulings against the U.S. (the Tuna-Labeling, Clove Cigarettes and Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Requirements cases) and on the influence of private transnational institutions such as the International Organization for Standardization, certification bodies such as Social Accountability International (SAI), and regulatory scientific institutions such as the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Part III proceeds to examine the normative challenges posed by these transnational regulatory processes. We start by exploring the hidden ideological agendas of this new global normative body, highlighting especially its neo-liberal, capitalist origins. We then move to discuss the problematic of fragmented accountability regimes. These reflections question the legitimacy of the new body of globalized administrative law and point to the need to adapt our democratic conceptions and practices to this new reality. In this context, our approach steers a middle course between the extremes of sovereign exceptionalism and global constitutionalism, focusing on the potential of administrative law for democratic innovativeness.
A regulatory taxonomy? 'The World of Regulatory Agencies: Institutional Varieties and Administrative Traditions' (EPSA 2013 Annual General Conference Paper 786) by Andrea C. Bianculli, Xavier Fernández-i-Marín and Jacint Jordana "introduces a dataset of de jure institutional characteristics of regulatory agencies in more than 100 countries and 16 sectors".
This paper introduces a new dataset on the institutional characteristics of regulatory agencies, which aims to scrutinize the variety of specialized regulatory institutions existing in the world in the year 2010. The dataset covers 115 countries and 16 different sectors. The dataset measures a number of institutional features and organizational aspects of regulatory agencies. How formal relations with other political institutions are designed, or the scope of responsibilities and powers assigned, are some of the dimensions considered among the variables identified. This paper details how the dataset was constructed, discusses the selected variables and the criteria established for designing the sample, as well as some of the methodological problems that arose when identifying and selecting the data.
In so doing, and based on the literature on administrative traditions, the paper offers a preliminary analysis of the extent to which the diffusion of regulatory agencies in the last 20 years has led to similar organizational and institutional patterns across countries, or whether existing administrative traditions exerted a major influence on the final regulatory agency model adopted. To disentangle the relation, the analysis focuses on seven particular administrative traditions - Napoleonic, Anglo-Saxon, Latin American, Postcolonial, Germanic, Scandinavian and East Asian, on the one hand, and discusses the role of civil society in regulatory agencies, political autonomy over agencies and the degree of bureaucratic autonomy of agencies, on the other.
Results show that countries from different administrative traditions have adapted the institutional model of regulatory agencies and have developed new institutions more according to their traditions, specially with regards to the involvement of society and the bureaucratic autonomy of the organizations. The paper is aimed at understanding both the mechanisms of differentiation in institutional settings that countries with differentiated administrative traditions have used as well as to understand the process of diffusion of regulatory agencies in several countries.
The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 presents the theoretical framework on administrative traditions and models of institutional design of political institutions. Section 3 describes the process of data acquisition and the challenges of the database. The analysis of the institutional adoption of regulatory agencies by administrative is performed in Section 4, while Section 5 discusses the findings and concludes.