The Procedural Side of Legal Globalization: The Case of the World Heritage Convention

The conceptual premise of Global Administrative Law is that, in order to cope with globalization, states’ right to regulate has been increasingly entrusted to global authorities, adopting rules and decisions which are best conceptualized as administrative regulation. Therefore, GAL is an answer to vertical and substantial institutional and legal globalization and it develops in order to avoid the risk of an administrative regulation (which goes global) unregulated by administrative law (which remains domestic). This paper, however, takes a slightly different approach to GAL. Focused on the impact of global regulatory regimes on domestic regulation, it argues that those regimes change the very nature of domestic rules and decisions as long as they are adopted according to decision-making processes open to the participation of "external" subjects, representing the interests of different political communities. From this perspective, GAL, conceived as global law regulating domestic regulation, is not an answer to vertical and substantial institutional and legal globalization, and contributes to the development of a horizontal and procedural path to legal globalization
The paper maintains this point by examining a single global regulatory regime– namely the World Heritage Convention regime – and, particularly, by considering three specific cases, referring to three different domestic administrative decisions, to whom that Convention has been applied. The World Heritage Convention regime – as well as many other global regulatory regimes –places on domestic authorities the burden of taking into account the global interests affected by their decisions. This is a typical procedural burden, drawn from the heritage of (domestic) administrative law. Thus, legal globalization progresses along a procedural path and according to administrative law (rather than private law) concepts.