Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Transnationalization of Law: Rethinking Law through Transnational Environmental Regulation

  • Veerle Heyvaert (a1)

Abstract

This article argues that the rise of transnational regulation has a transformative impact on law. It examines the field of transnational environmental regulation to show that its proliferation challenges the continued appropriateness of representations of law as (i) territorial, (ii) emanating from the state, (iii) composed of a public and private sphere, (iv) constitutive and regulatory in function, and (v) cohesive and regimented. Instead, law is increasingly perceived as (i) delocalized, (ii) flowing from a plurality of sources, (iii) organizationally inchoate, (iv) reflexive and coordinating in function, and (v) polycentric. Together, these shifts in perception amount to a transformation that the article identifies as the transnationalization of law. The article then explores three responses to the transnationalization of law. It distinguishes responses motivated by a desire to reclaim the traditional conception of law from those that seek to reconstruct law at the transnational level and responses that advocate a context-responsive reconceptualization of law. Each response, it will be shown, creates a different set of opportunities for, and challenges to, the relevance of law for transnational regulation.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Transnationalization of Law: Rethinking Law through Transnational Environmental Regulation
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Transnationalization of Law: Rethinking Law through Transnational Environmental Regulation
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Transnationalization of Law: Rethinking Law through Transnational Environmental Regulation
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

Hide All

I am grateful to Gregory Shaffer for comments on an earlier version of this article, and to four anonymous TEL reviewers for their instructive feedback. A revised version of this article will appear in chapter form in V. Heyvaert, The Transformation of Environmental Regulation (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).

Footnotes

References

Hide All

3 Knill, C. & Lehmkuhl, D., ‘Private Actors and the State: Internationalization and Changing Patterns of Governance’ (2002) 15(1) Governance, pp. 4163 .

4 Held, D. & McGrew, A.G., Governing Globalization: Power, Authority and Global Governance (Polity Press, 2002).

5 Wiener, J.B., ‘Global Environmental Regulation: Instrument Choice in Legal Context’ (1999) 108(4) Yale Law Journal, pp. 677800 , at 686.

6 Ostrom, E., ‘Polycentric Systems for Coping with Collective Action and Global Environmental Change’ (2010) 20(4) Global Environmental Change, pp. 550557 , at 550–1.

7 E. Meidinger, ‘Beyond Westphalia: Competitive Legalization in Emerging Transnational Regulatory Systems’, in C. Brütsch & D. Lehmkuhl (eds), Law and Legalization in Transnational Relations (Routledge, 2007), pp. 121–43, at 129.

8 This article does not claim a full causal connection between the proliferation of non-state regulators and the diversification of regulatory strategies. For a fuller treatment of this issue, see V. Heyvaert, The Transformation of Environmental Regulation (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018), Ch. 4.

9 Gunningham, N., ‘Environment Law, Regulation and Governance: Shifting Architectures’ (2009) 21(2) Journal of Environmental Law, pp. 179212 .

10 For an overview, see Black, J., ‘Critical Reflections on Regulation’ (2002) 27 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, pp. 135 , at 8.

11 Ibid., p. 26.

12 C. Scott, ‘Analysing Regulatory Space: Fragmented Resources and Institutional Design’ [2001] Public Law, pp. 329–53, at 331.

13 D. Kysar, ‘Sustainable Development and Private Global Governance’ (2005) 83(7) Texas Law Review, pp. 2109–66, at 2145. Kellow and Zito deploy a narrower definition of governance, one that emphasizes a less direct, more steering-oriented mode of engagement but still assumes the central position of a public authority: ‘Governance is the capacity of governments or designated public actors to steer their economy and society in a goal-oriented way that differs from what the spontaneous cooperation of actors in the markets and society might achieve’: Kellow, A. & Zito, A.R., ‘Steering through Complexity: EU Environmental Regulation in the International Context’ (2002) 50(1) Political Studies, pp. 4360 , at 43. Möllers treats ‘governance’ as the institutional perspective on the conduct of public institutions that focuses particularly on their externality from the state, their public/private hybridity, their high degree of informality, their efficiency and output, and their sectorality: C. Möllers, ‘European Governance: Meaning and Value of a Concept’ (2006) 43(2) Common Market Law Review, pp. 313–36, at 314–8. Pauwelyn, Wessel and Wouters, in turn, relate ‘governance’ particularly to policy coordination between public and private actors: Pauwelyn, J., Wessel, R.A. & Wouters, J., ‘An Introduction to Informal International Lawmaking’, in J. Pauwelyn, R.A. Wessel & J. Wouters (eds), Informal International Lawmaking (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 110 , at 2.

14 Heyvaert, V., ‘What’s in a Name? The Covenant of Mayors as Transnational Environmental Regulation’ (2013) 22(1) Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, pp. 7890 , at 83.

16 Heyvaert, n. 14 above, p. 81.

19 Cf. Cotterrell, R., ‘What Is Transnational Law’ (2012) 37(2) Law & Social Inquiry, pp. 500524 , at 515; K.-H. Ladeur, ‘The Evolution of General Administrative Law and the Emergence of Postmodern Administrative Law’, Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 16/2011, 21 Mar. 2011, pp. 3, 8, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1792062 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1792062.

20 Cf. Cotterrell, ibid., pp. 512, 515; Zumbansen, P., ‘Transnational Private Regulatory Governance: Ambiguities of Public Authority and Private Power’ (2013) 76(2) Law & Contemporary Problems, pp. 117138 , at 118, 130–1.

21 Bethlehem, D., ‘The End of Geography: The Changing Nature of the International System and the Challenge to International Law’ (2014) 25(1) European Journal of International Law, pp. 924 , at 13.

22 Ibid., pp. 13–4.

23 Cf. Pauwelyn, Wessel & Wouters, n. 13 above, p. 2.

25 Ibid.

26 Directive 2010/75/EU on Industrial Emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) [2010] OJ L 334/17.

27 Washington, DC (US), 3 Mar. 1973, in force 1 July 1975, available at: https://www.cites.org/eng/disc/text.php.

28 Thornhill, C., ‘National Sovereignty and the Constitution of Transnational Law: A Sociological Approach to a Classical Antinomy’ (2013) 3(4) Transnational Legal Theory, pp. 394460 , at 406; van Bogdandy, A. & Schill, S., ‘Overcoming Absolute Primacy: Respect for National Identity under the Lisbon Treaty’ (2011) 48(5) Common Market Law Review, pp. 14171453 ; N. Krisch, ‘Who is Afraid of Radical Pluralism? Legal Order and Political Stability in the Postnational Space’ (2011) 24(4) Ratio Juris, pp. 386–412, at 407.

29 2 BVerfGE 2/08 Treaty of Lisbon, Judgment of 30 June 2009 (German Constitutional Court); BVerfGE 37, 271 2 BvL 52/71 (Solange I–Beschluß); K 32/09 Treaty of Lisbon, Judgment of 24 Sept. 2010 (Polish Constitutional Court); Pl. US 5/12 Slovak Pensions, Judgment of 31 Jan. 2012 (Czech Constitutional Court).

30 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto (Japan), 11 Dec. 1997, in force 16 Feb. 2005, available at: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/kpeng.pdf.

31 Kang, M.J. & Park, J., ‘Analysis of the Partnership Network in the Clean Development Mechanism’ (2013) 52 Energy Policy, pp. 543553 , at 543.

32 Thornhill, n. 28 above, p. 406.

33 C. Brütsch & D. Lehmkuhl, ‘Complex Legalization and the Many Moves to Law’, in Brütsch & Lehmkuhl, n. 7 above, pp. 9–32, at 22–3; Weiler, J.H.H., ‘The Geology of International Law: Governance, Democracy and Legitimacy’ (2003) 63 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, pp. 547562 , at 553–6.

34 Ellinas, A. & Suleiman, E., ‘Supranationalism in a Transnational Bureaucracy: The Case of the European Commission’ (2011) 49(5) Journal of Common Market Studies, pp. 923947 ; E.O. Eriksen & J.E. Fossum, ‘Post-national Integration’, in E.O. Eriksen & J.E. Fossum (eds), Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation (Routledge, 2002), pp. 1–28, at 4.

35 Cf. Sieberson, S.C., ‘Inching Towards EU Supranationalism? Qualified Majority Voting and Unanimity under the Treaty of Lisbon’ (2010) 50(4) Virginia Journal of International Law, pp. 920995 , at 926–32.

36 Kardasheva, R., ‘Package Deals in EU Legislative Politics’ (2013) 54(4) American Journal of Political Science, pp. 858874 .

37 See, e.g., Glicksman, R. & Kaime, T., ‘A Comparative Analysis of Accountability Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services Markets in the United States and the European Union’ (2013) 2(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 259283 .

38 Kingsbury, B., Krisch, N. & Stewart, R.B., ‘The Emergence of Global Administrative Law’ (2005) 68(3/4) Law and Contemporary Problems, pp. 1561 , at 29–31 (on the difficulty of identifying the source(s) of global administrative law).

39 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 249.

40 Cotterrell, n. 19 above, p. 515.

41 Thornhill, n. 28 above, p. 406.

42 Brütsch & Lehmkuhl, n. 33 above, p. 23.

43 J. Habermas, Theorie des kommuikativen Handlens (Surhkamp, 1981).

44 Cf. Cassese, S., ‘Administrative Law Without the State? The Challenge of Global Regulation’ (2005) 37(4) New York University Journal of International Law & Politics, pp. 663694 , at 669, 679.

45 Heyvaert, n. 14 above, pp. 83–5.

46 Cf. Zumbansen, n. 20 above, p. 120.

47 Affolder, N., ‘Transnational Conservation Contracts’ (2012) 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law, pp. 443460 ; Richardson, B.J., ‘Socially Responsible Investing for Sustainability: Overcoming Its Incomplete and Conflicting Rationales’ (2013) 2(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 311338 .

48 Cf. Thornhill, n. 28 above, p. 406.

49 J.-L. Halpérin, ‘L’Histoire de la Fabrication du Code. Le Code: Napoléon?’ (2003–04) 107 Pouvoirs, pp. 11–21.

50 M.-S. Kuo, ‘From Administrative Law of Administrative Legitimation? Transnational Administrative Law and the Process of European Integration’ (2012) 61(4) International & Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 855–79, at 863.

52 Lisbon (Portugal), 13 Dec. 2007, in force 1 Dec. 2009, available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A12012M%2FTXT.

53 Thornhill, n. 28 above, pp. 403–4.

56 Cf. C. Anderson, ‘Contrasting Models of EU Administration in Judicial Review of Risk Regulation’ (2014) 51(2) Common Market Law Review, pp. 425–54, at 425; A. Alemanno, ‘The Shaping of European Risk Regulation by Community Courts’, Jean Monnet Working Paper No. 18/2008, pp. 7–10, available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1325770.

57 Kuo, n. 50 above, p. 863.

58 Heyvaert, V., ‘Levelling Down, Levelling Up, and Governing Across: Three Responses to Hybridization in International Law’ (2009) 20(3) European Journal of International Law, pp. 647674 , at 662.

59 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 5.

60 Fuller, L.L., ‘Law and Human Interaction’ (1977) 47(3/4) Sociological Inquiry, pp. 5989 , at 61.

61 Calliess, G.-P. & Renner, M., ‘Between Law and Social Norms: The Evolution of Global Governance’ (2009) 22(2) Ratio Juris, pp. 260280 , at 267.

62 Ibid.

63 Fuller, n. 60 above, pp. 61–4.

64 On the cognitive function of law, see also von Benda-Beckmann, F. & von Benda-Beckmann, K., ‘The Dynamics of Change and Continuity in Plural Legal Orders’ (2006) 53(4) Journal of Legal Pluralism & Unofficial Law, pp. 144 , at 12.

65 Cf. Scott, n. 12 above, p. 333.

66 Brütsch & Lehmkuhl, n. 33 above, pp. 22–3.

67 Vienna (Austria), 23 May 1969, in force 27 Jan. 1980, available at: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%201155/volume-1155-I-18232-English.pdf.

68 Neil Gunningham’s work illustrates both the assumption of stability and the extent to which this assumption is under threat: Gunningham, n. 9 above.

69 Benvenisti observes a similar sensibility reflected in recent American writing on international law: ‘a view shared by scholars who deny that there is anything “out there” other than solitary treaties floating around in no particular hierarchy in the abyss of international anarchy’. It should, however, be noted that representation is typically used not to challenge the systemic vision of law at a fundamental level, but to buttress claims for a return to the values of state sovereignty and subordination of transnational to national law: E. Benvenisti, ‘The Future of International Law Scholarship in Germany: The Tension Between Interpretation and Change’ (2007) 67 ZaöRV, pp. 585–98, at 587.

70 For comparison, see Nico Krisch’s discussion of ‘containment’, ‘transfer’ and ‘break’ as three reactions to the democracy challenges represented by the emergence of postnational law: N. Krisch, Beyond Constitutionalism: The Pluralist Structure of Postnational Law (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 14–22. Krisch’s brief analysis focuses chiefly on the different interpretations of the relation between democracy, legitimacy and constitutionalism that underscore the diverse responses. The analysis below, in contrast, focuses its attention on the consequences of embracing one or other viewpoint. See also Berman’s discussion of sovereigntist, universalist and pluralist constructions of the global legal order: Berman, P.S., Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders (Cambridge University Press, 2014), p. 14 .

71 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 9.

72 M. Marcussen, ‘OECD Governance through Soft Law’, in U. Mörth (ed.), Soft Law in Governance and Regulation: An Interdisciplinary Analysis (Edward Elgar, 2004), pp. 103–28.

73 Ray, C., ‘Transnational Co-operation between Rural Areas: Elements of a Political Economy of EU Rural Development’ (2001) 43(3) Sociologia Ruralis, pp. 279295 .

74 Cf. L. Kotzé, Global Environmental Governance: Law and Regulation for the 21 st Century (Edward Elgar, 2012), p. 83.

75 Terpan, F., ‘Soft Law in the European Union: The Changing Nature of EU Law’ (2015) 21(1) European Law Journal, pp. 6896 ; d’Aspremont, J. & Aalberts, T. (eds), ‘Symposium on Soft Law’ (2012) 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law, pp. 309378 ; Heyvaert, n. 58 above, n. 3 (overview of key publications on soft law between 1990 and 2009).

76 Shaffer, G., ‘Theorizing Transnational Legal Ordering’ (2016) 12 Annual Review of Law and Social Science, pp. 231253 , at 246; K.W. Abbott & D. Snidal, ‘Hard and Soft Law in International Governance’ (2000) 54(3) International Organization, pp. 421–56; G. Shaffer & M.A. Pollack, ‘Hard vs. Soft Law: Alternatives, Complements, and Antagonists in International Governance’ (2010) 94 Minnesota Law Review, pp. 706–99.

77 Kheng-Lian, K., ‘Transboundary and Global Environmental Issues: The Role of ASEAN’ (2012) 1(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 6782 .

78 Aho, E. Korkea, ‘Laws in Progress? Reconceptualizing Accountability Strategies in the Era of Framework Norms’ (2013) 2(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 363385 , at 378–384.

79 Case C–171/11, Fra.bo SpA v. Deutsche Vereinigung des Gas- und Wasserfaches eV (DVGW) – Technisch-Wissenschaftlicher Verein, Judgment of 12 July 2012, ECLI:EU:C:2012:453.

80 Lisbon (Portugal), 13 Dec. 2007, in force 1 Dec. 2009 [2010] OJ C 83/47, available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:326:FULL:EN:PDF.

82 Ibid., para. 29.

83 Ibid., para. 14.

84 Ibid., para. 31.

85 Streck, C. & Lin, J., ‘Making Markets Work: A Review of CDM Performance and the Need for Reform’ (2008) 19(2) European Journal of International Law, pp. 409442 , at 426–8.

86 Ralf Michaels, e.g., has proposed a more inclusive approach to conflicts of law as a way to resolve competing claims between state and non-state law: R. Michaels, ‘The Re-Statement of Non-State Law: The State, Choice of Law, and the Challenge from Global Legal Pluralism’ (2005) 51(3) The Wayne Law Review, pp. 1209–58, at 1250–8. Zumbansen, n. 20 above, p. 127; note that Zumbansen discusses this view in the literature, but does not personally espouse it.

87 See H.J. Steiner & D.F. Vagts, Transnational Legal Problems, 2nd edn (Foundation Press, 1976), p. xvii.

88 Public Law 107–204, 107th Congress, 30 July 2002, 116 Stat. 745.

89 Kahler, L., ‘Contract-Management Duties as a New Regulatory Device’ (2013) 76(2) Law & Contemporary Problems, pp. 89103 , at 90, 94.

90 Bethlehem, n. 21 above, p. 19.

91 Affolder, n. 47 above.

92 Ibid., pp. 456–60.

93 Richardson, n. 47 above, p. 327.

94 Ibid., pp. 332–7.

95 H.P. Nehl, Principles of Administrative Procedure in EC Law (Hart, 1999), p. 214.

96 Kuo, n. 50 above, pp. 857–8, 862; E. Vos, ‘Making Informal International Law Accountable: Lessons from the EU’, in Pauwelyn, Wessel & Wouters, n. 13 above, pp. 369–81.

97 Bethlehem, n. 21 above, p. 24.

98 Glicksman & Kaime, n. 37 above, p. 271.

99 Cf. A. Somek, ‘Constituent Power in National and Transnational Contexts’ (2012) 3(1) Transnational Legal Theory, pp. 31–60.

100 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 5.

101 Brütsch & Lehmkuhl, n. 33 above, p. 23.

102 Zumbansen, n. 20 above, p. 133.

103 Ibid.

104 E.g., G. Teubner, ‘The Project of Constitutional Sociology: Irritating Nation State Constitutionalism’ (2013) 4(1) Transnational Legal Theory, pp. 44–58, at 49; K.P. Berger, The Creeping Codification of the New Lex Mercatoria, 2nd edn (Center for Transnational Law, 2010); A. Stone Sweet, ‘The New Lex Mercatoria and Transnational Governance’ (2006) 13(5) Journal of European Public Policy, pp. 627–46.

105 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 10.

106 N. 97 above.

107 Von Benda-Beckmann & von Benda-Beckmann, n. 64 above, p. 19.

108 Cf. J. Kleinheisterkamp, ‘Financial Responsibility in European International Investment Policy’ (2014) 63(2) International & Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 449–76.

109 Thornhill, n. 28 above, pp. 398–9.

110 Krisch, n. 28 above, pp. 397–400.

111 Cf. V. Barral, ‘Sustainable Development in International Law: Nature and Operation of an Evolutive Legal Norm’ (2012) 23(2) European Journal of International Law, pp. 377–400, at 388–90.

112 O. Dilling, ‘Legitimacy-Collisions in 3D: Some Queries with the Third Dimension of Joerges’ Conflicts Law’, in C. Joerges & T. Ralli (eds), After Globalisation: New Patterns of Conflict and their Sociological and Legal Reconstructions, RECON Report No. 15 (ARENA, 2011), p. 140, available at: http://pure.au.dk/portal/files/70590248/After_Globalization.pdf.

113 Ladeur, n. 19 above, p. 5.

114 Berman, n. 70 above, p. 11.

115 Zumbansen, n. 20 above, p. 133.

116 New York, NY (US), 9 May 1992, in force 21 Mar. 1994, available at: http://unfccc.int.

117 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 5 June 1992, in force 29 Dec. 1993, available at: http://www.cbd.int/convention/text.

118 For a comprehensive overview of international environmental lawmaking activity through time, see the International Environmental Agreements Database Project at: http://iea.uoregon.edu/page.php?query=summary&type=MEA.

119 Aarhus (Denmark), 25 June 1998, in force 30 Oct. 2001, available at: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html.

120 Berman, n. 70 above, p. 10.

121 T.C. Halliday & G. Shaffer (eds), Transnational Legal Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2015), p. 27.

122 Krisch, n. 70 above, p. 283.

123 I am grateful to Greg Shaffer for this observation.

124 Cf. T. Schultz, Transnational Legality: Stateless Law and International Arbitration (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 12–4.

125 M. Delmas-Marty, Ordering Pluralism: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the Transnational Legal World (trans. N. Norberg, Hart, 2009).

126 Barral, n. 111 above.

127 Delmas-Marty, n. 125 above, pp. 19–37.

128 Ibid.

129 Similarly, in what Van Asselt calls a ‘constitutional twist’, Krisch cannot resist the siren call of ‘interface norms’ which reintroduce a degree of layering or informal hierarchy into the system of law: H. van Asselt, ‘Pluralism, Informality and Transnational Environmental Law’ (2014) 3(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 173–89, at 179.

I am grateful to Gregory Shaffer for comments on an earlier version of this article, and to four anonymous TEL reviewers for their instructive feedback. A revised version of this article will appear in chapter form in V. Heyvaert, The Transformation of Environmental Regulation (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed