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Title: International Organizations as Law-Makers
Authors: Wouters, Jan
De Man, Philip
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies
Abstract: This working paper analyzes the law-making processes of international organizations and the
impact thereof, particularly in the light of the functionalism-constitutionalism dichotomy and
the agency theory. Both doctrines are introduced briefly before expanding upon the
attribution of law-making powers to international organizations, their decision-making
methods and the decisions of their judicial organs. The working paper then focuses on the
impact of international organizations on the adoption of treaties and the development of
customary international law. Finally, the issues of democratic deficit and multilevel regulation
are addressed. The paper demonstrates that international organizations have become
increasingly active players in the field of international law-making. This evolution has not
always and necessarily been the result of deliberate considerations on the part of the
Member States who hired the international organizations. It rather follows from a combination
of constitutionalist-inspired measures taken by the principals in order to minimize and
otherwise rectify the agency costs and losses inherent in all functional PA-relationships.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IR
Appears in Collections:Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies
Institute for International Law

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