The legitimacy of the G20 – a critique under international law

The legitimacy of the G20 – a critique under international law

23 Pages · 2014 · 596 KB · English

their multilateral economic and financial policies through alternative fora outside the G20. 5. Later, the Research Fellow, the Institute for International Law, University of Zurich, PhD in Law, University of Zurich. the preeminent international institution for promoting economic and financial po

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1 The legitimac y of the G20 – a critique under international law Kern Alexander *, Karin Lorez **, Martin Zobl *** and Daniel Thürer **** Introduction The establishment of the G20 in 1999 as a group of finance ministers and central bank governors representing nineteen countries and the European Union has evolved to become the preeminent international forum for debating and initiating reforms of the international economic, monetary and financial systems 1 The G20 was initially intended to be different from other international economic and fin ancial institutions as it was designed to take into account the interests of both economically advanced and developing market countries 2 In doing so, it expanded on the work of the G7 in overseeing global economic governance issues in the world’s most advanced economies 3 The G20 als o address ed weaknesses in the International Monetary Fund’s conditionality and financial support programmes that became evident during the Asian crisis 4 Despite the value of having such a broad based global economi c governance group, the G20 never achieved it s full potential in the early 2000s mainly because the United States and other G7 (and later G8) countries continued to pursue their multilateral economic and financial policies through alternative fora outside the G20 5 Later, the United States and other G7 countries attracted much c riticism following the onset of the global financial crisis that erupted in late 2007 and intensified in 2008 mainly because of flawed U S and European financial regulatory policies 6 As the financial crisis spread , a type of ‘trial by fire’ emerged as the G20 Heads of States convened in Washington DC in November 2008 to adopt a Joint Action Pl an to deal with the crisis that included fiscal and * Professorial Chair for International Law and Finance, University of Zurich The authors would like to thank M Law Alexandra Balmer for her helpful research assistance ** Associate, PricewaterhouseCooper, PhD in Law, University of Zurich *** Research Fellow, the Institute fo r International Law, University of Zurich, PhD in Law, University of Zurich **** Professor emeritus for International Law, European Law, Public Law and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Zurich 1 In 2008, the G20 expanded to twenty permanent members, 19 countries plus the EU Communique of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Gove rnors, ‘Meeting Of G 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ (G20 Conference, Berlin, January 1999) 2 Communiqué of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Gove rnors (G20 Meeting, Berlin, 1999) point 2 3

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