Public–Private Partnerships and the Law

Public–Private Partnerships and the Law

Regulation, Institutions and Community

Yseult Marique

This timely book examines the legal regulation of Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs) and provides a systematic overview of PPPs and their functions. It covers both the contractual relationships between public and private actors and the relationships between PPPs and third parties, such as end-users.

Introduction

Yseult Marique

Subjects: law - academic, regulation and governance

Extract

Public–Private Partnerships bring public and private sectors together in long-term partnership for mutual benefit’. So wrote the British Treasury about public–private partnerships (PPPs) in 2000. Since then, they have become an emblematic form of contractual relationship providing public infrastructures and services at both international and domestic levels. The question arises, therefore, of the role that the law plays in ensuring that PPPs deliver these infrastructures and services for the public good. This monograph provides a narrative for the dynamics involved in coordinating competing public, private and individual interests in PPPs. Three problems of coordination have to be tackled. Firstly, the fragmented features of PPPs and their public and private partners; secondly, the multiple tensions between PPPs, their public and private partners and third parties, such as taxpayers or users; and thirdly, the constant changes in definitions and techniques used in these schemes. In addressing these issues, public authorities use their discretion. Institutions, law and communities shape this use of their discretion by public authorities. Pragmatism may explain the concrete implementation of these interplays between institutions, law and communities in PPPs. However, my narrative suggests a more principled, yet more demanding, analysis of how discretion coordinates public, private and individual interests in PPPs: the law does not account fully for discretion; it needs to be supplemented by an ethical framework, namely an ethic of care.