IILJ Working Paper 2004/6 (Global Administrative Law Series)

Informal Procedure, Hard and Soft, in International Administration

David Zaring

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Informal international regulatory cooperation is changing into recognizable forms of international administration. This paper surveys some of those forms.
The forms range from hard procedural law to soft harmonization-through-example. They include: 1) hard international rules that constrain institutions in developed countries; 2) softer principles of supervision which bureaucrats in developing countries may emulate; and 3) models for regulators in adjacent issue areas.
It is in attempting to adopt hard rules that we see an escalating procedural formality to regulatory cooperation. We also see a softer proselytization of unobjectionable, easy (for already sophisticated regulators, at least) standards throughout the developing world. Finally, the horde of organizations that have copied the form and agendas of established regulatory cooperation mechanisms also play a part in emerging international administration. The principal case studies for the paper come from international financial regulation.