The tragedy of business lobbying for “less regulation”

Business associations and individual economic actors often lobby for “less regulation”. Politicians and officials often feel obliged to follow this call. In some jurisdictions, even entire regulatory policy departments have been created to limit the quantity and the heaviness of regulation. As a consequence, regulations sometimes become “light”, containing general provisions and leaving details out. In this article, we claim that businesses are partly shooting themselves into the foot by calling for “less regulation”  instead of “less obligations”. We also state that we are all better served by more and more detailed provisions. Continue reading The tragedy of business lobbying for “less regulation”

Model law on cross-border internet activities and virtual worlds

This model law boldly aims to regulate cross-border internet activities comprehensively, covering most their facets, including up to the level of complexity if “virtual worlds”. Our model law contains comprehensive lists of obligations for all actors from which legislators are invited to choose as appropriate. The model law also creates manifold interfaces with the national legal order into which it is to be embedded. Lastly, our model law establishes a system in which actors control each other as as to complement and even partly replace the work of enforcement authorities. Continue reading Model law on cross-border internet activities and virtual worlds

Fair and competitive: how to regulate elections?

Organising fair and competitive elections is no easy feat. The probity and logistics involved requires clear rules and careful planning. Many jurisdictions around the world are examining their election laws as a way to strengthen democracy and cultural support for democratic systems, the latter being particularly important to sustain societal support generally. But how clear are the rules for elections really? How fair and competitive are they? Is the electoral management body as independent as it could be? This howtoregulate article examines the laws regulating elections, highlighting good examples of electoral laws and regulatory techniques. Continue reading Fair and competitive: how to regulate elections?

Regulatory Institute: reflecting on the year that was 2022

Two words, collaboration and expansion, best summarise the achievements of the Regulatory Institute these past twelve months. Our core work in researching, writing and sharing for free, good regulatory techniques with lawmaking officials, will benefit countless citizens around the world. Achievements worthy of particular mention include: participation in ten law projects to better control addictive consumer products (alcohol, cannabis and tobacco), collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum and civil society organisations towards the world’s first Model Law on Public Financial Management, publishing the Model Laws Library and doubling our workforce to reach all corners of the world! Continue reading Regulatory Institute: reflecting on the year that was 2022

The Model Laws Library

More than a thousand states and sub-states (jointly called “jurisdictions”) today develop and adopt laws. Considering several hundred policy fields exist that could be supported by laws, there is immeasurable potential for law reform to improve policy outcomes. If we were to make a matrix listing horizontally all the thousand plus jurisdictions adopting laws and vertically, the several hundred policy fields and insert all existing laws into that matrix, by far most of the fields in this matrix would be empty. The fabric of laws is thus very incomplete, including for important policies like the prevention of pandemics. In addition, most of the laws that exist are themselves incomplete, missing important possibilities to pursue their policy goals. This double incompleteness (of the fabric of laws and of the individual laws) hampers policies and creates wide margins for arbitrary decisions, and in some cases corruption. The Regulatory Institute has taken a step to address this double incompleteness by establishing the Model Laws Library and by developing our own model laws. Continue reading The Model Laws Library