Whistleblower regulations update: strengthening protections

We wrote about the dynamic field of whistleblower regulation some time ago and since then several important regulatory updates have occurred that are worth raising. In this update we also dive into how whistleblower protections can be strengthened through robustly empowered supervisory bodies, practical anti-retaliation measures and tackling whistleblowing in traditionally confidential sectors. Continue reading Whistleblower regulations update: strengthening protections

Whistleblowers: protection, incentives and reporting channels as a safeguard to the public interest

Whistleblowing has become a dynamic regulatory field. Several jurisdictions have recently opened public consultations in this relation. They recognise the need to protect the good faith whistleblower disclosing alleged wrongdoing to ensure, in fine, the respect of the public interest.

This article presents international framework on whistleblowing (Part I.), model laws (Part II.), national reference regulation (Part III.) and national regulation which is commendable for specific aspects (Part IV.). Continue reading Whistleblowers: protection, incentives and reporting channels as a safeguard to the public interest

Digital government: regulating the automation of public administration

Governments are increasingly looking towards automated decision-making systems (ADS), including algorithms to improve the delivery of public administration. This raises issues in administrative law around legality, transparency, accountability, procedural fairness and natural justice. The provision of public services and government decision-making are regulated by legislation that protect administrative (public) law principles and permit affected persons to seek judicial review of that decision. However, the government use and deployment of ADS has, in many jurisdictions, preceded any prudent analysis of how the ADS fits within the broader administrative legal framework. This howtoregulate article outlines a regulatory framework for the automation of public administration. Continue reading Digital government: regulating the automation of public administration

Beyond a destination and towards a culture: Corporate transparency regulations

The private sector plays a critical role in achieving economic and social goals through providing goods and services, employment and tax revenue. Corporate vehicles such as companies, trusts, foundations, partnerships, and other types of legal persons and arrangements, make up a large share of the private sector. Although corporate transparency is a standard business practice of most companies, other corporate vehicles have less transparency as revealed by the International Consortium of Journalists in the Panama Papers. Corporate transparency regulations need always to balance measures aimed at catching bad actors with measures that encourage voluntary transparency, to avoid overly burdensome rules. This howtoregulate article focuses on good examples of corporate transparency regulations and highlighting opportunities for improvement. Continue reading Beyond a destination and towards a culture: Corporate transparency regulations

Caring about older persons in regulation

Good regulations for the care of older persons is critical for states where the share of the ageing population is increasing quickly because the burden on aged services also exponentially grows. The population ageing process is a transversal issue that cuts across several policy areas and regulatory mechanisms, often requiring implementation several years in advance to address future demand. This howtoregulate article looks at best practices for regulating care for the aged in circumstances where the target group are working less, living longer and needing more. Continue reading Caring about older persons in regulation

Restoring trust: using regulations to protect the impartiality of decisions and research in the public interest

This howtoregulate article focuses on using regulations to protect the impartiality of decisions and research in the public interest. All too often we see stories breaking about the alleged impropriety of important decisions or research that served a narrow interest at odds with the public interest. Sobering indeed, is the phenomenon of scientific deniers or the rejection of scientific evidence as a basis for government decisions and policy. Impartiality is an important factor in public trust of democratic and scientific institutions, such as universities and government departments. In using regulations to protect the principle of impartiality we look at some examples of how this is done at the international and national level, ending with some recommendations to improve regulatory measures. Continue reading Restoring trust: using regulations to protect the impartiality of decisions and research in the public interest

Regulating online safety and tackling online harms

When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990, he envisaged a decentralised environment of free exchange of ideas and information. Fast forward to 2019, almost 30 years later, and that online environment has been polluted by disinformation, manipulation, harassment and privacy breaches. The growth of online pollution has prompted various regulatory responses such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation1, Germany’s Network Enforcement Act2, Australia’s Abhorrent Violence Amendment Bill3 and California’s Consumer Privacy Act4, each one responding to an online safety problem. In a world first, however, the UK has signalled it will regulate online safety in a single and coherent way, including creating a statutory duty of care for online safety. This howtoregulate article will analyse the UK’s regulatory approach outlined in its April 2019 Online Harms White Paper, which is open for public consultation until July 2019, and propose ways to improve on regulatory enforcement of online safety. Continue reading Regulating online safety and tackling online harms

Infectious diseases: how to regulate an agile system equipped for the unknown

This howtoregulate article explores the regulation of infectious diseases, an issue of global importance noting that an outbreak from any infectious disease is just a plane ride away. Global climate change has contributed to increases in vector-borne diseasesand zoonotic diseases2, as animals move to populated areas in search of food. The World Health Organisation even has a placeholder for future unknown diseases (Disease X) on its list for determining which diseases and pathogensto prioritise for research. Evidently, effective public health regulations are critical for the effective surveillance, early detection and prevention of infectious diseases. Continue reading Infectious diseases: how to regulate an agile system equipped for the unknown

Regulating Cross Border Services

In today’s globalised world, where markets are increasingly borderless, how does the domestic regulator enforce national objectives in consumer protection, professional standards, taxes and competition? Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to enforce these objectives within the border, imagine across borders, where the language and legal systems are different and, most importantly, there is no own state power of the jurisdiction setting up requirements. Cross-border product enforcement has matured in recent years in line with consumer demand for quality and stricter enforcement through customs and sometimes even postal services. Requirements for cross-border services, however, have been more difficult to enforce due to the variety of channels that services consumers and businesses currently use, particularly digital services. This howtoregulate article focuses on how the regulation of cross-border services could be better enforced so that compliance with service requirements by traders outside of the jurisdiction are similar, or at least not too dissimilar, to those within the regulator’s jurisdiction. Continue reading Regulating Cross Border Services

Regulating alcohol consumption in the absence of a medically determined safe level

According to The Lancet “alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss”1. In fact, it is the seventh leading risk factor globally for mortality and disease finding that “the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero”2. These results suggest that alcohol control policies and regulations that have traditionally focused on “responsible” or “safe” alcohol consumption might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption. Some states (eg. Australia) are currently reviewing their alcohol consumption control regime and with The Lancet’s recent publication more jurisdictions are expected to follow. This howtoregulate article examines the international and national alcohol consumption control regulations to determine good regulatory techniques that could assist states’ reviews of existing regulation. Continue reading Regulating alcohol consumption in the absence of a medically determined safe level