Public administration is an industry that employs half a billion people globally and covid-19 reminded us of its importance. One of the tenets of governance – democratic and perhaps totalitarian – is the impartiality of public administration. With such noun – impartiality – it is meant the capability of public administration to serve executive branches governed by different parties with the same loyalty: a ‘servant to any master’. Impartiality also implies the same capability vis-à-vis the citizens, i.e. the equal treatment and non-discrimination of all citizens. These ‘impartialities’ are ‘horizontal’, because they are addressed at entities that are on the same – horizontal – plane. On the other hand, literature shows that organizations do not behave with ‘vertical’ impartiality: public administration and public employees give themselves precedence vis-à-vis the rest of society. The absence of vertical impartiality has implications for public law.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!