The Globalization of Public Law
European Review of Public Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 2006
31 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2006
Within a context of economic interdependence, the extra-territorial impact of domestic authorities' internal public policies increases. Consequently, the legal and administrative system of every State becomes "globally relevant": the members of each national community are increasingly subject to the effects of the rules and decisions adopted by authorities empowered by the members of different national communities. This is the main explanation of the rising globalization of public law, particularly of administrative law: international law limits and affects legislative and administrative powers of States, in order to protect the interests located beyond their borders. Sometimes, international law recognizes the right of the national authorities to regulate and administrate within their territory, and restricts, by means of administrative law principles, the exercise of that right: that is where international law controls domestic authorities' right to regulate. Sometimes, the intervention of international law may be much more intrusive, by forcing domestic regulators to accept and implement, in the domestic system, rules set out beyond their borders: that is where international law substitutes domestic authorities' right to regulate. Given that globalization of public law imposes restrictions on the domestic regulators, it is logical to wonder if these restrictions augment or decrease their democratic accountability. It seems that the globalization of public law limits the internal democratic accountability of domestic authorities, but at the same time accrues their external democratic accountability, by imposing the obligation to regulate taking into account the foreign interests affected by the domestic decisions. Due to the economic globalization, each citizen is subject to the effects of the measures taken by the institutions of different states. Due to the legal globalization, each citizen has to share with the citizens of other states the power to influence his government's choices, acquiring at the same time the power of affecting the choices of foreign countries.
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