In the course of the twentieth century governing authorities have taken on an increasingly wider range of responsibilities. Consequently, citizens have developed high expectations regarding their government's ability to satisfy their needs. When citizens put forward their wishes and raise their complaints, they tend to focus on the national government. However, the regulatory powers of the nation state are being increasingly transferred to other actors: to the European and international level, but also to local authorities and private actors. Due to these shifts in governance, many of the classical instruments for containing state power might fail to offer citizens an adequate degree of protection. The question is therefore to what extent the traditional system of legal protection is still satisfactory in a society that is characterized by extensive governing powers and multilevel governance. This collection of essays explores how, in the areas of law enforcement and adjudication, the basic principles of the rule of law can be embedded in a system of multilevel governance.
The contributions are divided into three themes. The first theme concerns the search for transnational justice. These contributions deal with the problems caused by the growing interdependence between national states. A second set of contributions focuses on the changing position of the courts in a system of multilevel governance and the democratic basis for this change. The third group of articles, finally, deals with several basic concepts of law and society which may be used to describe the shifts in governance, while focusing on the role of private autonomy at different levels of government.
About the book
‘[…] very instructive reading for academics, practitioners and private actors involved in the process of human rights protection within a multilevel governance structure. The abundance of cases and examples will guide decision makers in shaping sound public policies when considering both vertical and horizontal shifts in governance.’
Gina Scutelnicu in Public Organization Review 10 (2010) 195.
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