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”
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
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
This article describes the utility potential of work which prepares the proper regulatory activity. Continue reading Why we need meta-regulatory work
This article presents the current and future activities of Howtoregulate.org. Howtoregulate.org is looking for partners. Continue reading Development of Howtoregulate.org
In a bilateral contact with a development aid agency we learnt that some governments struggle to find a consensus amongst ministries or departments, and this in particular when regulating. If your government is in such a situation, you might wish to check whether the establishment or the amendment of rules of procedure could help. We recommend as a reference the Rules of Procedure of the Czech Republic and the supplementing rules for the Government’s Legislative Council available here.
There are not so many institutions or service providers offering advice for regulators. We found a job advertisement according to which the World Bank is about to launch a comprehensive regulatory advice practice. Continue reading World Bank to launch regulatory advice practice
Requesting data as justification for new legislation is useful, but has an important downside. Requesting justifying data can delay or render impossible the new legislation. It can also be extremely costly, bind too much manpower, increase the influence of lobby groups and reduce the choices of political decision-makers. In a view of this downside, it is preferable to establish a pragmatic case-by-case approach that takes account of the situation of the sector in the respective jurisdiction. Continue reading The downside of requiring justifying data