Project

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International Transparency

English title International Transparency
Applicant Peters Anne
Number 129630
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Juristische Fakultät Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.07.2010 - 31.12.2012
Approved amount 246'662.00
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Keywords (8)

Transparency; Global governance; Participatory democracy; Accountability; Constitutionalization; Global administrative law; Confidentiality; Compliance control

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
International Transparency Lay SummaryOur research goal is to analyze the legal status, the functions, potential, legal limits, and legalproblems related to transparency in all fields of international law. Our first research hypothesis isthat (descriptively) the significance and function of transparency has been different in national andin international law. This disjunction reflects the distinction between both legal spheres. Startingfrom the commonplace that global governance, whose central steering mode is international law,is becoming more and more regulatory in nature, shapes the activity of national governments andbureaucracies, regulates markets, and intensely affects citizens in their daily lives, we assume(second research hypothesis) that (descriptively) the principle of transparency is coming to bearmore on global governance as well, and is here beginning to fulfil similar functions, as in thedomestic setting. Ultimately, the rise of transparency can be conceptualised (third researchhypothesis) as a manifestation of another paradigm shift, namely a shift from ‘private’ to a‘public’ law-character of international law. We assume that in international law, the primarily‘secret’ mode of governance negotiation and bargaining is on its way to being complemented bythe primarily ‘public’ mode of deliberation and arguing.The starting point of our research is a brief descriptive analysis of transparency at the domesticlevel which can build on extensive existing scholarship. Our project will then map internationaltransparency in the following analytical framework and answer the related research questions.1) Branches of international lawWe will first identify the issues-areas and sub-disciplines in which transparency has so far gainedlegal significance (in the presumed order of importance): International environmental law,international economic law (WTO and investment protection), arms and nuclear proliferationcontrol, international human rights law including international health law, peace and security. Afoil for testing our hypothesis that transparency is increasingly performing similar functions (andis acquiring a similar legal status) in global governance as in domestic law is the evolution oftransparency as a legal principle in EU-law.2) What are the legal bases of transparency requirements?3) Analysis of the case law and the practice on transparency on the relevant regime.4) The ‘debtors’ and ‘creditors’ of transparency obligations.5) In which type of governance and which phase of the legal process?6) The object of transparency7) The functions of transparency8) The procedures of transparency9) Consequences of nondisclosure10) Grounds for refusal of transparency11) Backdraws of transparency and trade-offsFollowing this analytical framework, our research will take stock of the use of transparency as aglobal governmental tool, and of the areas in which transparency is lacking. The ultimate questionis whether there is a general international legal principle (or sector-specific principles) oftransparency, what its legal functions and limits are (also in comparison to ‘national’transparency), and whether international law is undergoing a paradigm shift towards a genuinely‘public’ law in the dual sense of the word: a law not only in the global public interest, but alsoopen to the public.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
On Power and Illusion: The Concept of Transparency in International Law
Bianchi Andrea, On Power and Illusion: The Concept of Transparency in International Law, in Peters, Bianchi (ed.).
Towards Transparency as a Global Norm
Peters Anne, Towards Transparency as a Global Norm, in Bianchi, Peters (ed.).
Transparency in International Law
Peters, Bianchi (ed.), Transparency in International Law.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Ellen Hey Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Edith Brown Weiss United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schreuer Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Basel Institute on Governance Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Benedict Kingsbury United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Transparency International (NGO) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Transparency of International Law 18.01.2012 Thun/Schweiz

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136698 Transparency in International Law - Authors' Workshop 01.01.2012 Scientific Conferences

Abstract

Our research goal is to analyze the legal status, the functions, potential, legal limits, and legal problems related to transparency in all fields of international law. Our first research hypothesis is that (descriptively) the significance and function of transparency has been different in national and in international law. This disjunction reflects the distinction between both legal spheres. Starting from the commonplace that global governance, whose central steering mode is international law, is becoming more and more regulatory in nature, shapes the activity of national governments and bureaucracies, regulates markets, and intensely affects citizens in their daily lives, we assume (second research hypothesis) that (descriptively) the principle of transparency is coming to bear more on global governance as well, and is here beginning to fulfil similar functions, as in the domestic setting. Ultimately, the rise of transparency can be conceptualised (third research hypothesis) as a manifestation of another paradigm shift, namely a shift from ‘private’ to a ‘public’ law-character of international law. We assume that in international law, the primarily ‘secret’ mode of governance negotiation and bargaining is on its way to being complemented by the primarily ‘public’ mode of deliberation and arguing.The starting point of our research is a brief descriptive analysis of transparency at the domestic level which can build on extensive existing scholarship. Our project will then map international transparency in the following analytical framework and answer the related research questions. 1) Branches of international lawWe will first identify the issues-areas and sub-disciplines in which transparency has so far gained legal significance (in the presumed order of importance): International environmental law, international economic law (WTO and investment protection), arms and nuclear proliferation control, international human rights law including international health law, peace and security. A foil for testing our hypothesis that transparency is increasingly performing similar functions (and is acquiring a similar legal status) in global governance as in domestic law is the evolution of transparency as a legal principle in EU-law.2) What are the legal bases of transparency requirements? 3) Analysis of the case law and the practice on transparency on the relevant regime.4) The ‘debtors’ and ‘creditors’ of transparency obligations.5) In which type of governance and which phase of the legal process?6) The object of transparency7) The functions of transparency8) The procedures of transparency9) Consequences of nondisclosure 10) Grounds for refusal of transparency11) Backdraws of transparency and trade-offsFollowing this analytical framework, our research will take stock of the use of transparency as a global governmental tool, and of the areas in which transparency is lacking. The ultimate question is whether there is a general international legal principle (or sector-specific principles) of transparency, what its legal functions and limits are (also in comparison to ‘national’ transparency), and whether international law is undergoing a paradigm shift towards a genuinely ‘public’ law in the dual sense of the word: a law not only in the global public interest, but also open to the public.
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