The G20 and Informal International Lawmaking
KU Leuven - Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies Working Paper No. 86
33 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2012
In recent years, G20 has emerged as a relatively new, yet influential actor on the world stage which brings together the leaders of the twenty systemically most important economies. Its informality and flexible character warrant the use of the term ‘Informal International Lawmaking’ with regard to this global network. ‘Informal International Lawmaking’ (or “IN-LAW”) comprises of networks of global cooperation that are distinct from ‘traditional’ international law as they display less formal characteristics; the actors are not necessarily diplomats or heads of state, the process is not necessarily structured by formal proceedings and the output is not (always) an internationally binding legal instrument. G20 displays many of these characteristics and, as a result, there are concerns as regards the legitimacy and accountability of the network as an actor in Global Governance. The authors argue that as G20 was never intended to produce international legally binding outcomes, its informality results in a setting where world leaders can discuss global issues without having to fear to be immediately bound by legal commitments. This does, however, not mean that we should disregard the concerns raised as regards the accountability and legitimacy of G20. The authors support the proposed initiatives to create a more structured dialogue between G20 and its Members (the internal stakeholders) and those excluded from the network (the external stakeholders).
Keywords: Global Governance, Global Economic Governance, G20, Informal International Lawmaking, International Law, Global Financial Crisis, International Organizations, Accountability, Legitimacy, Effectiveness
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