Paper/Speech Details of Conference Program for the 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference Program Overview Panel: The Rule of Law & Public Administration Author(s) Mirko Pecaric University of Ljubljana Ljubljana Slovenia Title Public Institutions and Legal Principles - Who Determines Whom? File Paper files are available only for conference participants, please login first. Presenter Mirko Pecaric Abstract Many major problems in the world are connected with problems of administration, with institutions that (do not) prevent or do not know how to prevent financial and other social crises, how to end wars, prevent poverty and provide the access to clean water, safe food, etc. The basic work of administration is indeed decision making; it is the lifeblood of every organization and the central focus in the practice of evidence-based management, but per se is insufficient to describe differences between public administrations. The problem could not be found in a lack of the public administration’s reforms but in a different, meta-mental level. A common (un)reforming factor that applies to all PAs is not in some tendency (e.g. privatisation, deregulation, contracting-out), but in PAs themselves, in PAs as institutions. The assumption is that people’s problems are not caused by a lack of technical equipment or lack of knowledge of the natural or engineering science (by these tools they can be even enhanced), but by the lack of effective, efficient and ethical social science, especially by the lack of (good, better, effective, etc.) administration that cannot be given or embraced solely by principles (or values) - as for almost every principle one can find an equally plausible and acceptable contradictory principle (Simon, 1997) – but first by addressing the notions of community, institution and regulation that give weights to principles and values. Within these three notions (as the frames of human life) human reasoning takes place, that should not be satisfied only with the elaboration of problems without solutions. Many times, new terms/institutions are developed to embrace past non-effective practices, which can be seen as good administration, good governance, responsive, better, smart regulation, etc. New names with the same presumptions will probably also be non-effective. A legal principle (e.g. the rule of law) is per se only a notion, like anyone else; from the cybernetic point of view – but also from the standpoint of effectiveness as one of the main principles in public administrations that implements a Legislator’s enacted goals- it means only to the extent of its practical effects.