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Exploring the Relationship between Administrative Norms and Competence in Transnational Governance: ISO, ISEAL and Sustainability Standards

Author:

Stepan Wood

Professor and Tier 1 York Research Chair in Environmental Law and Justice, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto
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Abstract

I argue that competence is needed to join the burgeoning activity of developing and applying the administrative norms that are designed to keep contemporary transnational governance institutions in check, but that such competence is not conferred only by states. Using the example of the asymmetric relationships among the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the ISEAL Alliance (ISEAL) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the field of sustainability standards, I argue that competence is the contingent product of an ongoing process of interaction among rule-makers and a variety of relevant audiences. General administrative norms play a central but complicated role in the quest for competence. To illustrate this complexity, I investigate two apparent paradoxes: that competence is sometimes withheld from rule-makers despite their apparent conformity with transnational administrative norms, and that competence is sometimes conferred on rule-makers despite their apparent nonconformity with those norms.
How to Cite: Wood S, ‘Exploring the Relationship Between Administrative Norms and Competence in Transnational Governance: iso, iseal and Sustainability Standards’ (2016) 21 Tilburg Law Review 193 DOI: http://doi.org/10.1163/22112596-02102006
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Published on 12 Oct 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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