The increased expansion of economic activity beyond national borders leads to a shift of regulatory power. Public authorities concede power, explicitly or tacitly, to private bodies, whereas the multilayered ecology of global governance inevitably increases the role of transnational institutional structures. This article examines such developments in the area of professional services. It starts by analyzing the self -regulation phenomenon in professional services and points to examples where professional associations accentuate their unique nature t o justify the importance of nonintervention in their internal affairs. Powerful professional associations have been thereby created, which, depending on the services subsector (e.g., legal, engineering or advertising services), are the final masters of access to and practice of a given profession. After a critical review of the most important professional associations at the global level, the article focuses on instances of private enforcement and goes on to examine the role of courts in reviewing such enforcement. In this regard, constitutionality of private enforcement is also examined. Finally, the article refers to the role of antitrust rules in harnessing distortive business practices that professional associations may adopt. The article focuses in particular on instances of private, decentralized enforcement. Whereas no truly transnational private regulation in professional services has yet emerged, it is submitted that the foundations for such a development are being built progressively as a result of borderless activities in this sector and a relatively deferential stance on the side of the State.
The Future of Transnational Self-Regulation – Enforcement and Compliance in Professional Services,
40 Hastings Int'l & Comp.L. Rev. 1
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_international_comparative_law_review/vol40/iss1/1