Category Archives: All Articles

The art of setting multi-dimensional limit values in regulation

In many fields of technical, chemical or environmental regulation we use limit values. The purpose of establishing limit values in regulation is to set clear rules that protect safety of people, the environment and policy goals generally. This howtoregulate article analyses situations where there is a trade-off between different or inter-dependent parameters which are subject to limit values. Furthermore, we present a rational approach for deciding the trade-offs between limit values. Continue reading The art of setting multi-dimensional limit values in regulation

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

Regulatory architecture

Legislative and regulatory acts (hereafter jointly called “acts”) rarely exist in an isolated way. Therefore, it is important to fit them well into the overall regulatory architecture for the given sector or field. We examine in this howtoregulate article how best to position an act in the overall regulatory architecture. To that end, we need to look more closely at how acts relate to each other. Continue reading Regulatory architecture

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

Typology of referencing in regulations

Referencing in regulation is becoming more common in a globalised and interconnected world. Jurisdictions recognise that other bodies, or organisations both within and outside their jurisdiction, have more expertise in a given sector and so it makes sense to reference such bodies / organisations. In fact such referencing is justified based on efficiency, limited resources and consistency. However, some referencing has not been conceived well and so this howtoregulate article provides a roadmap of considerations that a regulator ought to take into account before making a reference, external to the piece of regulation. Continue reading Typology of referencing in regulations

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

How to harmonise decision-making of authorities and conformity assessment bodies?

More than five years after dealing with harmonised decision-making in the Handbook “How to regulate?”, we now re-visit the topic of this article in a more analytical way. We present six key components for a strategy leading to more harmonised decision-making (A). These key components can be integrated into an operational action plan and workflow. Continue reading How to harmonise decision-making of authorities and conformity assessment bodies?

Referring to standards: never think there is no further alternative

In particular for technical sectors, regulators tend to refer to international or national standards as a means to set up requirements. This article examines some risks and downsides of (classic) direct and specific referencing, a referencing that makes the standards mandatory (A.). Furthermore it presents a matrix that can be used to generate dozens or hundreds of alternative techniques of referencing that avoid these risks and downsides and describes in more details a few favourite techniques (B.). Continue reading Referring to standards: never think there is no further alternative

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