13(2) International Journal of Constitutional Law 2015

Where Does GAL Find Its Legal Grounding?


Edoardo Chiti

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Historically, administrative law has evolved as a body of law internal to the legal orders of nation states, governing the functioning of the state administrative machinery and its relationships with the addressees of administrative action. But what about global administrative law (GAL), which regulates the functioning of a vast array of new types of administrations beyond the state? Under what legal order is GAL emerging and consolidating? This short contribution on GAL aims to underline the fact that four main conceptions co-exist in GAL scholarship. They link GAL, respectively, to the legal orders in terms of the sector run by global regulatory systems, to the “global administrative space,” to the “global polity,” and to the “global legal order.” Each of these conceptions encapsulates a specific functional and normative understanding of GAL. None of them, however, is fully convincing. In this sense, this contribution intends to draw the attention of GAL scholarship to an unresolved issue and to call for further reflection on the merits and the shortcomings of the various conceptions, as well as on possible alternatives.