WPS 2014-07: Reviewing Global Governance

Eyal Benvenisti

The following are the texts of Chapter 6 and of the conclusion of my Hague Lectures on “The Law of Global Governance” forthcoming in the 368 Recueil des cours and in the Pocketbook Series of the Hague Academy of International law.

The book argues that the decision-making processes within international organizations and other global governance bodies ought to be subjected to procedural and substantive legal constraints that are associated domestically with the requirements of the rule of law. The book explains why law – international, regional, domestic, formal or soft – should restrain global actors in the same way that judicial oversight is applied to domestic administrative agencies. It outlines the emerging web of global norms designed to protect the rights and interests of all affected individuals, to enable public deliberation, and to promote the legitimacy of the global bodies. These norms are being shaped by a growing convergence of expectations that global institutions adopt rules and institutions that ensure public participation and representation, impartiality and independence of decision-makers, and accountability of decisions. The book explores these mechanisms as well as the political and social forces that are shaping their development by analyzing the emerging judicial practice concerning a variety of institutions, ranging from the UN Security Council and other formal organizations to informal and private standard-setting bodies.

The following Chapter sets out to explore the possibilities for reviewing the decisions and policies of the various global governance bodies and the legitimate scope of review. So far we have identified the omnipresence of these global bodies in shaping human activities, life-chances and freedoms, and contrasted it with the effort by these bodies to employ various shields to immunize them from accountability. To counter this relinquishment of responsibilities toward all disregarded stakeholders, we have outlined the legal constraints on their exercise of authority, both in the context of their own decision-making process and as regards the limits of their review of sovereign discretion. It is now time to consider why global governance bodies should be subjected to review, what types of review are available, and the extent to which these review functions should be exercised.

The Chapter is followed by the general conclusion of the lectures.

Eyal Chapters 6-7 WPS 7-14