All posts by Regulatory Institute

Part 1: Beyond the prevention of animal cruelty and abuse: regulating animal welfare

Modern history has come to expand the net of rights holders: slaves, women, indigenous people and children. Before their rights were ‘recognised’, various regulations concerned their protection as property. The rights of animals are also gaining recognition and jurisdictions are starting to move away from animals as property to animals as sentient beings whose welfare is important in a humane society. This two part howtoregulate article focuses on moving beyond traditional prevention of animal cruelty legislation to regulating animal welfare, recognising either animal rights, animal sentience or the requirement for humane treatment. This Part 1 provides an overview of animal welfare regulatory frameworks at the international, supra-national, national and state levels. Continue reading Part 1: Beyond the prevention of animal cruelty and abuse: regulating animal welfare

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

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

Cultured Meat: How to Regulate Alternatives to Farmed Meat

Fourteen per cent of the world’s greenhouse emissions is estimated to come from raising livestock, and ethical concerns are rife at different stages of livestock production (eg. live animal exports, slaughter practices, the use of hormones). Health implications are also involved in the consumption of animals, from the novel coronavirus through to non-infectious diseases caused by over-consumption of saturated animal fat. Breakthrough research in alternatives to farmed meat has seen several start-up tech companies promising to bring alternatives to market as early as 2022. Alternatives to farmed meat may be an important lever to encourage people to eat less meat but there is an equal if not more pressing need for regulators outline a clear framework for such alternatives. This howtoregulate article examines the existing regulatory environment for alternatives to farmed meat and suggest regulatory techniques that aim to encourage safer and faster take-up in the market. Continue reading Cultured Meat: How to Regulate Alternatives to Farmed Meat

An Update on How to Promote Energy Efficiency by Regulation

With many workplaces closed or closing, people working from home and the need for business transformation, there are calls for a “green recovery” in line with international climate change agreements to respond to global health, economic and trade shocks. One aspect of this sustainable transition is energy efficiency. This howtoregulate article analyses the best practice regulations jurisdictions use to encourage and incentivise energy efficiency. It builds on, and updates, a previous article written in January 2017, “Promoting energy efficiency by regulation” and so it is recommended both be read. Continue reading An Update on How to Promote Energy Efficiency by Regulation

Regulating the police in service of the public

Regulating the police, particularly use of force and oversight of police power, received global attention following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd on 25 May 2020. The police is one of a few state institutions (others include the military, prisons) that are authorised to use force. According to German sociologist Max Weber the successful monopoly over legitimate physical force is what defines a modern state. Recognising that the police provide important services such as law enforcement and public safety, this howtoregulate article focusses on how best to regulate the police noting the range of functions they must perform in service of the public interest. Continue reading Regulating the police in service of the public

Regulating for a sustainable natural resources sector to infinity and beyond

It cannot be be overlooked when regulating the sustainable natural resources (oil, gas and minerals) sector that such resources are finite. The benefits of the extracted sustainable natural resources, usually measured narrowly in financial terms, has diminishing returns once the resource arrives at its final destination. Meanwhile, the loss caused by the extraction can continue to be felt long after the financial benefit has run its course, particularly when externalities are not appropriately accounted for in regulation. This howtoregulate article looks at good examples of regulations with the objective of a sustainable natural resources sector. Continue reading Regulating for a sustainable natural resources sector to infinity and beyond

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