All posts by Regulatory Institute

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 natural resources (oil, gas and minerals) sector that such resources are finite. The benefits of the extracted natural resource, 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 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

Attributing legal personality to nature as an effective means for protection

Nature is increasingly being recognised as a holder of rights both in legislation and in court judgements. The relationship between regulations and nature has usually been one of protection, where regulations focus on prohibiting or regulating activities that pose threats to nature. This howtoregulate article explores the burgeoning regulatory landscape attributing legal personality to nature and suggests other regulatory requirements to strengthen the governance and administrative structure supporting legal personhood of nature. Continue reading Attributing legal personality to nature as an effective means for protection

Using regulation to ensure the well-being of children

Scientific evidence shows that child well-being investment pays off, particularly in early childhood, as those children become adolescents and those adolescents become adults who do well. Such adults have higher employment and earnings, better health, and lower levels of welfare dependence and crime rates than those adults who did not have such investment as children. Regulations, be they legislation or delegated rules, are a critical feature of any state seeking to ensure the well-being of children because it organises in a systematic way the responsibilities, enforcement, the budget and services that allow children to thrive. This howtoregulate explores good examples of child well-being laws from around the world. Continue reading Using regulation to ensure the well-being of children

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

Life after death: regulating posthumous reproduction

Regulating posthumous reproduction raises a myriad of bioethical, social, legal and administrative issues, all of which are important in any drafting of regulation on the topic. Very few jurisdictions researched in this howtoregulate article had complete legislation that regulated well the issues that arise from the retrieval of reproductive tissue postmortem and subsequent posthumous use of such tissue. In some jurisdictions researched, the applicable legislation was somewhat dated in comparison to the advances made in artificial reproductive technology (ART) treatment that push the boundaries of the legal parent. This howtoregulate article explores how jurisdictions have regulated posthumous reproduction, citing examples of regulation where they existed and proposing areas requiring clarity. Continue reading Life after death: regulating posthumous reproduction

How to regulate sensitive products when regulatory resources are limited

This howtoregulate article analyses how countries with limited regulatory resources could regulate sensitive products, using the example of medical devices. A key component of regulating such sensitive products is recognising certificates and evaluations from stringent jurisdictions, so that scarce government resources can be focussed on other regulatory activities such as customs control and enforcement. Continue reading How to regulate sensitive products when regulatory resources are limited