Global Administrative Law in the Operation of International Organizations

Global Administrative Law Perspective of the WTO Aid for Trade Initative


Gabrielle Marceau & Ousseni Illy

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The emerging Global Administrative Law (GAL) study has brought into the legal frontlines the need to hold global governance bodies more accountable for their rulings and activities, and how these institutions are adapting their actions to better respond to new global challenges as their legitimacy depends on their effectiveness in coping with them. The legitimacy challenge has become a pressing issue, forcing international organizations to open up their decision-making processes and to set up review mechanisms to oversee their actions. The recent WTO Aid for Trade (AFT) Initiative belongs to this new category of global action/forums that want to respond to legitimacy and accountability challenges. This innovative movement has provided the WTO Director General with the responsibility to launch and institutionalize an initiative to allow poorer countries to derive more benefit from the Multilateral Trading System. It has brought together a wide range of stakeholders including international aid-donor states, beneficiary states, international financial and development institutions, regional banks and regional institutions, private sector, NGOs etc. to discuss and shape the best way to achieve this aim. This article tries to assess the AFT Initiative against the principles advocated by GAL, in particular those related to participation, transparency, accountability and review.