Journal Article

The procedural side of legal globalization: The case of the World Heritage Convention

Stefano Battini

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 9, issue 2, pages 340-368
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI:
The procedural side of legal globalization: The case of the World Heritage Convention

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  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • UK Politics


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The conceptual premise of global administrative law (GAL) is that, in order to cope with globalization, the right of states to regulate has been increasingly entrusted to global authorities, which adopt rules and decisions best conceptualized as administrative regulation. Therefore, GAL is in response to substantial, vertical institutional and legal globalization, and it develops in order to avoid the risk of an administrative regulation (which goes global) unregulated by administrative law (which remains domestic). This paper, however, takes a slightly different approach to GAL. With a focus on the impact of global regulatory regimes on domestic regulation, I argue that those regimes change the very nature of domestic rules and decisions as long as they are adopted according to decision-making processes open to the participation of “external” subjects, representing the interests of different political communities. From this perspective, GAL contributes to the development of a horizontal and procedural path to legal globalization.

This point is demonstrated by examining a single global regulatory regime—the World Heritage Convention—scrutinizing three specific cases, each referring to three different domestic administrative decisions to which the convention has been applied. The World Heritage Convention—as well as many other global regulatory regimes—places on domestic authorities the burden of taking into account the global interests affected by their decisions. This is a typical procedural burden, drawn from the legacy of domestic administrative law. Thus, legal globalization progresses along a procedural path and in accordance with administrative law (rather than private law) concepts.

Journal Article.  14583 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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