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 12: The rule of law and transparency in the global space

Marco Macchia


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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