Research Handbook on Global Administrative Law
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Research Handbook on Global Administrative Law

Edited by Sabino Cassese

This Handbook explores the main themes and topics of the emerging field of Global Administrative Law with contributions by leading scholars and experts from universities and organizations around the world. The variety of the subjects addressed and the internationality of the Handbook’s perspectives make for a truly global and multi-dimensional view of the field.
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Chapter 3: Managing international civil servants

Santiago Villalpando


An area of legal regulation called ‘International Administrative Law’ has been known to international lawyers for over a century. It comprises the rules that govern the relationship between intergovernmental organizations and their employees, and is therefore the regulatory framework that enables the efficient management of international civil servants. This law has significantly evolved with the multiplication of intergovernmental organizations and the diversification of their areas of activity, and constitutes today a global regulatory regime, which affects a sizeable number of individuals and a considerable variety of institutions. If only because of the terminological similarity, the question arises as to what is the relationship between this classical area of international law and the contemporary trends that are being identified by the Global Administrative Law (GAL) scholarship. At first glance, International Administrative Law’s potential contribution to the development of GAL may be undervalued due to the fact that it represents a very specific phenomenon in the universe of global regulatory regimes, which is intrinsically tied to intergovernmental administrations and a restricted category of recipients. On a closer look, however, International Administrative Law appears to have been one of the first regimes to face the very challenges that GAL aims to address, and has played a pioneering role in the development of legal mechanisms of transparency, participation, reasoned decision and review at the international level; it may therefore provide valuable lessons in other areas. The management of international civil servants gives rise to unique dynamics in the area of law and justice.

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