October 17, 2012
Pauwelyn, Et Al, On Informal International Lawmaking
Posted by David Zaring

I've got a review up over at Opinio Juris on an interesting new book on informal international lawmaking - presumably I'm part of the symposium on the book because I study the Basel Committee and IOSCO, and they are prominent examples of such lawmaking.  It's not core business law stuff, but it is an excellent book, here's a taste of my take, the rest is over at OJ, and hopefully I've already convinced you that this is the sort of lawmaking that is going to set the groundrules for finance going forward:

[Pauwelyn, Wessel, and Wouters] develop both a definition and a metric for evaluating informal international lawmaking. Their defintion – figuring out whether that international phenomenon is IN-LAW or not – looks to its output, process and actors. If the output (non-treaties), process (non-diplomacy) or actors (non-states) are different from those in conventional international law then, PWW argue, you are in the world of IN-LAW. And that world includes a large number of public governance efforts ranging from technical regulation to much more political work like that done by APEC and the G20.


IN-LAW isn’t a bad rubric, but policing the borders of these kinds of categorization exercises is irresistible. Is it really so valuable to take heads of state exercises like APEC and the G20 and try to jam them into the same space as much more technical exercises on, for example, the Global Strategy on Diet or the Internet Engineering Task Force? PWW do that. But one is politically legitimate from its first moment. The other stakes its legitimation claims on its expertise, to say nothing of the differences in media attention, significance, and scope. Informal, yes, they both are. But I’d like to see an even better reason to group them.

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