Many international norms that have emerged in recent years are not set out in formal treaties. They are not concluded in formal international organizations. They frequently involve actors other than formal state representatives. In the realm of finance, health, security, or the environment, international lawmaking is increasingly 'informal': It takes place in networks or loosely organized fora; it involves a multitude of stakeholders including regulators, experts, professional organizations and other non-state actors; it leads to guidelines, standards or best practices. This book critically assesses the concept of informal international lawmaking, its legal nature, and impact at the national and international level. It examines whether it is on the rise, as is often claimed, and if so, what the implications of this are. It addresses what actors are involved in its creation, the processes utilized, and the informal output produced.
The book frames informal international lawmaking around three axes: output informality (novel types of norms), process informality (norm-making in networks outside international organizations), and actor informality (the involvement of public agencies and regulators, private actors, and international organizations). Fundamentally, the book is concerned with whether this informality causes problems in terms of keeping transnational lawmaking accountable. By empirically analysing domestic processes of norm elaboration and implementation, the book addresses the key question of how to benefit from the effectiveness of informal international lawmaking without jeopardizing the accountability necessary in the process of making law.
Jan Wouters is Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam EU and Global Governance, and Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Institute for International Law at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). He studied law and philosophy in Antwerp and at Yale University (LL.M., 1990), was a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School and obtained his PhD at the University of Leuven (1996). Jan Wouters is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and practises law as Of Counsel at Linklaters. He is Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts. Professor Wouters taught at the Universities of Antwerp and Maastricht, was Visiting Professor at Liege and Kyushu University and Referendaire at the European Court of Justice (1991-1994). He is Editor of International Encyclopedia of Intergovernmental Organizations and Vice-Director of Revue belge de droit international.
An Introduction to Informal International Lawmaking ; PART I - CONCEPTUAL APPROACHES TO INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL LAWMAKING ; 1. Informal International Lawmaking: Framing the Concept and Research Questions ; 2. The Legal Form and Status of Informal International Lawmaking Bodies ; 3. Informal International Lawmaking: A Conceptual View from International Relations ; 4. The Economics of Informal International Lawmaking: An Empirical Assessment ; 5. Legal Approaches to Global Governance and Accountability: Informal Lawmaking, International Public Authority, and Global Administrative Law Compared ; PART II - LEGAL NATURE OF INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL LAWMAKING ; 6. Is It International Law Or Not and Does It Even Matter? ; 7. The Legal Nature of Informal International Law: A Legal Theoretical Exercise ; 8. From a Pluralization of International Norm-Making Processes to a Pluralization of Our Concept of International Law ; 9. Reflexive Butterfly Catching: Insights from a Situated Catcher ; PART III - IMPACT OF INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL LAWMAKING ; 10. Impact of Informal International Law before International Courts and Tribunals ; 11. The Interaction Between Formal and Informal International Lawmaking ; 12. The Limits of Informal International Law: Enforcement, Norm-generation, and Learning in the International Competition Network ; PART IV - ACCOUNTABILITY OF INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL LAWMAKING ; 13. Toward a Typology of Informal International Lawmaking: Mechanisms and their Distinct Accountability Gaps ; 14. Operationalizing the Accountability of Informal International Lawmaking ; 15. Towards an Index of Accountability for Informal International Lawmakers? ; 16. Informal Lawmaking and the Accountability of Private Governance ; 17. Making Informal International Law Accountable: Lessons from the EU ; PART V- DOMESTIC ELABORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL LAWMAKING ; 18. Domestic Public Authorities Within Global Networks: Institutional and Procedural Design, Accountability, and Review ; 19. Keeping Informal Lawmaking Domestically Accountable: Legal Impact and Accountability of Domestic Soft Law ; 20. U.S. Implementation of Basel II: Lessons for Informal International Lawmaking ; 21. The Role of Domestic Administrative Law in the Accountability of Informal International Lawmaking: The Case of the ICH ; Informal International Lawmaking: An Assessment and Template to Keep it Both Effective and Accountable
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