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March 9: Speaker, Dr. Armin Von Bogdandy, "Public Authority of International Institutions"

March 9, 2009
12:30 PM
Room 122

Dr. Armin Von Bogdandy: "Public Authority of International Institutions"

This event is presented by: YFIL - Yale Forum on International Law (formerly FPIL - Forum on the Practice of International Law)

Speaker Bio:
Director, Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany President, OECD Nuclear Energy Tribunal, Paris Member, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Member, German Science Council (2005-2008) Global Visiting Professor of Law, New York University School of Law Professor, Karls-Ruprecht-Universiat, Heidelberg

In many policy fields an increasing number of international institutions play an active and often crucial role in decision-making and policy implementation, sometimes even affecting individuals. 
Governance activities of international institutions may have a strong legal or factual impact on domestic issues. This calls upon scholars of public law to lay open the legal setting of such governance activities, to find out how, and by whom, they are controlled, and to develop legal standards for ensuring that they satisfy contemporary expectations for legitimacy.

Discourse on global governance provides important new perspectives on phenomena of international cooperation but it is deficient from a public law perspective as the concept of global governance does not allow for the identification of what the focus of a legal discourse should be, i.e. those acts by which unilateral authority is exercised. 
Public law, at least in a liberal and democratic tradition, concerns the tension between unilateral authority and individual freedom, and is a necessary requirement for the legitimacy of public authority, which is both constituted and limited by public law. This requires focus on the exercise of international public authority. Any kind of governance activity by international institutions, be it administrative or intergovernmental, should be considered as an exercise of international public authority if it determines individuals, private associations, enterprises, states, or other public institutions. This concept enables the identification of all those governance phenomena, and complementing the concept of global governance with a concept more appropriate for legal analysis and the development of legal standards for legitimate governance.

A public law approach to the exercise of international public authority on the basis of international institutional law looks to a synthesis of recent streams of legal research such as the Global Administrative Law movement, the research on an emerging international administrative law, as well as the debate surrounding the constitutionalization of international law. The legal framework of governance activities of international institutions should thus be conceived of as international institutional law, and enriched by a public law perspective, i.e. with constitutional sensibility and openness for comparative insights from administrative legal thinking.