Private Regulators in Law

Schepel Harm

in Informal International Lawmaking

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658589
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742248 | DOI:
Private Regulators in Law

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This chapter addresses the question of whether the distinction between public and private actors is of much import for issues of accountability and legitimacy of the output of private or hybrid regulatory bodies. After all, in some instances the exercise of public authority is in play and issues of accountability are likely to arise. The chapter develops the argument along two lines: the ‘bright line’ option (in which a strict separation is maintained between the spheres of law and ‘private norms’) and the ‘grey zone’ option (which operates on a rather more fluid notion of law and regulation, and recognizes informal norms as legitimate if and when certain conditions are fulfilled). The author uses the role of ‘international standards’ in the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreements to illustrate the role of ‘private’ standards in international lawmaking.

Keywords: international law; informal law; lawmaking; private governance; regulatory bodies; WTO

Chapter.  6364 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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