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3 CJGG 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/chnjg3 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                            THE CHINESE  JOURNAL                       oal

 BRILL              OF GLOBAL   GOVERNANCE   3 (2017) 1-26           Governance
NIJHOFF                                                             brill.com/cjgg

The Public-Private Distinction in Global

Governance: How Relevant is it in the Case

of  Voluntary Sustainability Standards?

        Axel Marx
     Leuven  Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium
        axeL marx@ggs.kuleuven.be


Whether  global rules and standards originate from a public intergovernmental body
or from a private organization has significant implications for the applicability of
international law such as WTO law. However, how sensible is this distinction between
public and private? This paper argues that the distinction between public and private
standards only makes sense if one looks at the legal status of specific standard-setting
organisations. However, the distinction between public and private begins to blur and
fade if one switches the unit of analysis. First, the paper shows that private standards
are often based on internationally agreed (public) rules and norms. Second, the paper
argues that governments on purpose or in the design of their policies take these pri-
vate initiatives on board. Hence, they become an integral part of 'public' governance.
These arguments are developed on the basis of an analysis of Voluntary Sustainability
Standards (vss).


standards - Voluntary Sustainability Standards-certification - international trade
and global governance

*  The author thanks the participants in the conference on Private Standards and
   (Transatlantic) Trade Integration European University Institute, Florence, November o-n,
   2014 for stimulating discussions and feedback.

@  MARX, AXEL, 2017 DOI 10.1163/23525207-12340022
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 3.0 Unported (cc-BY-NC 3.o) License.

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