Privatisation poses challenges to the manner in which public values, such as accessibility, affordability, reliability, safety and sustainability, can be secured. In liberal societies the state, legitimised through democratic elections (input legitimacy) and the rule of law upheld by courts (output legitimacy), was traditionally regarded as the entity responsible for securing such values – although these values were perceived rather thinly. During the second half of the 20th century, with the role of the state expanding and public values conceived more thickly, the perception emerged that democratic elections and courts upholding the rule of law were not sufficient for legitimising the exercise of public power by states and that concerned members of the public should play a direct role in securing public values. As a result, public participation in the national context – here defined as consisting of the following elements: transparency (including access to information), public participation in decision-making, and access to courts or court-like institutions – emerged as a tool for securing public values, as well as checking, and thereby legitimising (input legitimacy), the exercise of public power by the state.

Erasmus Law Review , Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus Law Review
Erasmus Law Review
Erasmus School of Law

Hey, E, & Naudé Fourie, A. (2011). Introduction: Public Values and Public Participation in Decision-Making in Times of Privatisation. Erasmus Law Review, 4(2), 39–42. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/51356