Global Administrative Law Network

*** Recently updated: Global Regulatory Governance and Global Administrative Law Workshop***

The Global Administrative Law (GAL) Network was founded by the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) at NYU School of Law in partnership with a group of institutions located primarily in developing countries: the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi (India), Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School in São Paulo (Brazil), Los Andes University Law School in Bogotá (Colombia), and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law (Canada) and with scholars based at three other GAL Network institutions: San Andres University in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tsinghua University Law School in Beijing (China), and the University of Cape Town, Faculty of Law (South Africa). These institutions work closely together in the GAL Network to generate and disseminate multi-country policy-focused research on the rule of law in global governance and regulation as it affects developing countries. A central objective is to give governments and civil society organizations in developing countries the legal means to analyze and respond to actions of global and international agencies, and therefore advocate for their interests more effectively with these bodies. 

The GAL Network is deeply grateful for substantial support even since inception from the International Development Research Centre of Canada.  In its first cycle(2010-12), the Network coinducted multi-institution collaborative research projects on GAL-type rule of law issues in four fields of great importance to people in the developing world: utilities regulation and the impact international institutions have on the distribution of essential services; the balance between intellectual property protection and access to medicines; the struggle to combat corruption and money-laundering, both in domestic and transnational contexts; and the significant and formative interplay between domestic competition law and international regulation, across many jurisdictions.  Details of these are given below.

In the period 2012-14, the GAL Network is conducintg a further four projects, each addressing important issues concerning the effects of different stuctures of inter-institutional relations on outcomes in four contexts, building on the first round of projects.

The four projects of the GAL Network in its first cycle were the following (with the host institution as listed):

This project seeks to identify, and explain the evolution of, any distinctive features of the contemporary “regulatory state” in the Global South. Focusing on the provision of utilities (electricity, water, telecommunications and others), the research will examine the mechanisms through which global norms are projected into the regulatory structures of the countries studied, and also the mechanisms through which such an extension is resisted and/or appropriated at the local level. This project seeks to correct the imbalance in the regulatory state literature, which has to date privileged Western models as subjects of study, and focused on their export or (mis)-transplantation. Several papers from this project were published in the journal Regulation & Governance in 2012.  The full set of papers and commentaries will be published by Oxford University Press in a volume (edited by Dubash and Morgan) of the Law and Governance book series in 2013.

This project began with a very detailed analysis of the procedures and institutional features of the main competition law institutions in several countries and regions, covering countries with varied competition institutions and very different economies and levels of development.  The project drew extensively on research findings and insights from global administrative law work in other fields. An overarching synthesis of the competition institution case studies was prepared by the project directors, along with studies and recommendations relating to the work of international bodies dealing with competition law issues, such as the International Competition Network, the OECD, UNCTAD, and possibly also the WTO.

A brief precis of each of the case studies is below.  The full set of papers and commentaries will be published by Oxford University Press in a volume (edited by Fox and Trebilcock) of the Law and Governance book  series in 2013.

Project Research Page.

South Africa (slides)

Australia and New Zealand (slides)

Canada (slides)

United States (slides on due process norms) (slides on institutional performance norms)

Japan (slides on institutional performance norms)


European Union, UK and France

International institutions (slides on due process norms) (slides on institutional performance norms)

The research objective was to examine the relationships between foreign, supra-national and domestic legal institutions that have emerged to address problems of political corruption, focusing on the  institutions designed to control money laundering and facilitate the recovery of assets, and analyze how the structure of those relationships affects institutional performance. The goal was to produce a series of case studies and a synthetic paper for publication that would “contribute to knowledge of methods of controlling corruption, as well the broader question of how the design of transnational legal regimes affects their performance.” As with the other proposals, this one focused on institutional design, effectiveness and local impacts. Focusing specifically on aspects of the anti-corruption regime that affect Brazil and Argentina, the authors proposed using GAL tools both to map that regime and to assess its performance. This last goal was achieved by considering the substantive outcomes of the anti-corruption regime, its procedural legitimacy, its effect on local actors and the related dynamics with local actors, particularly where the regime was being instrumentalized to achieve external political objectives. Publications from the project are well advanced.

In the context of the increased attention to intellectual property (IP) issues in negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, this research project examined the question of how the IP regime, often regarded as one of the areas of international law in which an especially strong ‘hard law’ regulatory system has been established, operates domestically. Having identified the preservation of sovereignty as one of the features of this regime, the project coordinators conducted case studies to better understand the processes and administrative mechanisms that states use internally to negotiate the balance between IP rights and other policy and human rights considerations. Their belief was that, as a result of these negotiations, states in fact generate and administer new internal legal sub-systems. Through case studies focusing on IP policies related specifically to essential medicines in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and other Latin American states, the coordinators and local researchers tested and applied theories of political opportunity structures and transnational networks in order to map out a nuanced administrative landscape for IP in Latin America. The full set of papers and commentaries will be published by Oxford University Press in a volume of the Law and Governance book series in 2013.

The individual projects will undoubtedly make major contributions to the academic literature concerning the specific topics upon which they focus (state utilities regulation, money-laundering and proceeds of corruption, intellectual property and essential medicines, and competition law and institutions).

Each of our four projects presents unique opportunities for the development of concrete policy recommendations in the various sectors of study in each subject country or countries, built around the GAL framework.  By promoting strong cooperation between researchers in the developed and developing worlds, and by connecting that work with industry and policymakers, the aim is to build a rigorous and highly relevant research agenda around issues of global governance that will have central importance to both the people and the politicians in the developing world.



The GAL Network and its projects have been developed with the generous support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York.