Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Sabino Cassese
Chapter 12: The rule of law and transparency in the global space
When public power – capable of one-sidedly influencing individuals, citizens and enterprises – began to be exercised in national judicial systems, great attention was immediately paid to the need for a rule of law, i.e. for a series of guarantees that could protect citizens against an improper or arbitrary use of power. It was necessary to establish a robust bulwark that could regulate public intervention in individual states, to limit power and ensure that all interests involved were adequately represented or at least taken into account. The same pattern is developing in relation to sector-based global regimes, especially now that it is evident that globalization, which has moved decision centres outside states, is changing the nature, function and impact of international institutions’ determinations. This emerges from two factors in particular, which illustrate how global institutions’ exercise of public power requires respect for the rule of law in international relations. The first factor is the change in the nature of international regulation. International regulation alters the old dualistic nature of international law. Bypassing states, this regulation directly concerns individuals who operate in state communities. States and individuals, therefore, are the subjects of the same legal system. Global regimes have assumed the power to impose legal rules upon individuals and national administrations as their members, without requiring advance state authorization.
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