Chapter in Seeing the World Whole: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Keith (Geiringer & Knight, eds. 2008)

Global Administrative Law: Implications for National Courts

Benedict Kingsbury

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How should a legal or governance institution appraise an administrative rule or decision concerning global regulatory governance made by an institution or agency that is not part of the same politico-legal system? In this essay I address one sub-set of these situations: the question of how a national court should appraise a governance decision or administrative rule adopted by an external institution even though that decision or rule may have no binding force in international law nor any formal status in the law of the forum. As with many topics in the emerging field of global administrative law, the issue is only just coming to be clearly delineated. As such, there is no standard line of analysis of the problem among national courts. However the number of cases raising such questions can be expected to grow rapidly in parallel with the rapid proliferation of global governance norms. This essay therefore suggests the possibility of a standardised approach that can be informed by concepts and ideas from global administrative law.