What does the hierarchy of the aviation bodies look like?

Does it look like this:

International: ICAO

Continental: EASA,ECAC,...?


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    $\begingroup$ ICAO is organisation that draw "recommendations" for its members to use. Each country has control of its own airspace and surrounding area. EASA is a group of european countries so it is equal to national. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Oct 19 '16 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ @vasin1987 I hope you don't mind that I built an answer around your comment. $\endgroup$ – user Oct 19 '16 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling feel free. It is a fact (I hope!). I'm too lazy to format it. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Oct 19 '16 at 13:01

As pointed out by vasin1987 in a comment to the question, each country's regulatory body has control of that country's airspace: These agencies exist in a "mesh" of coequals as opposed to a hierarchy.

The EASA is a EU agency and applies to all of EU, very similar to how the FAA is a US agency that applies to all of the US.

ICAO, in turn, deals primarily with situations where air traffic crosses regulatory borders. In its own words, borrowing from the page About ICAO on their web site,

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency [which works] to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies[.]

Like pretty much the rest of the UN, the ICAO is more a forum for cooperation between regulatory bodies than a regulatory body in its own right.

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    $\begingroup$ Hum... ICAO coordinates the signature of treaties (list). Are you sure treaties don't have "force of law"? On the other hand, it's a side point, but EASA is not a ruling agency, each country in EU is sovereign. EASA directives are translated into local laws voted by local parliaments, which are the only elected bodies. $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 19 '16 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ @mins Treaties have the force of law between the signing countries, and it is up to those signing countries to enact and enforce legislation for its citizens to abide by those treaties. If treaties themselves were law as it applied to citizens, we would get treaties as appendices to our FAR books. The mere act of signing a treaty doesn't enact legislation (laws), that comes later. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 19 '16 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer. It seems this is a bit more complex: "In the United States, a different principle is established. Our constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land. It is, consequently, to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the legislature, whenever it operates of itself, without the aid of any legislative provision" (source). $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 19 '16 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ @mins Indeed it is, I think the key part of that is "whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision...", probably a better question for law.se. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 19 '16 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Thepizzaguy "Mmm, so you could say the FAA and the EASA work on a continental scale?" No, "continent" is something quite different from "administrative division", "country" or "regulatory region". $\endgroup$ – user Oct 19 '16 at 15:21

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