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”
Organising fair and competitive elections is no easy feat. The probity and logistics involved requires clear rules and careful planning. Many jurisdictions around the world are examining their election laws as a way to strengthen democracy and cultural support for democratic systems, the latter being particularly important to sustain societal support generally. But how clear are the rules for elections really? How fair and competitive are they? Is the electoral management body as independent as it could be? This howtoregulate article examines the laws regulating elections, highlighting good examples of electoral laws and regulatory techniques. Continue reading Fair and competitive: how to regulate elections?
Two words, collaboration and expansion, best summarise the achievements of the Regulatory Institute these past twelve months. Our core work in researching, writing and sharing for free, good regulatory techniques with lawmaking officials, will benefit countless citizens around the world. Achievements worthy of particular mention include: participation in ten law projects to better control addictive consumer products (alcohol, cannabis and tobacco), collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum and civil society organisations towards the world’s first Model Law on Public Financial Management, publishing the Model Laws Library and doubling our workforce to reach all corners of the world! Continue reading Regulatory Institute: reflecting on the year that was 2022
More than a thousand states and sub-states (jointly called “jurisdictions”) today develop and adopt laws. Considering several hundred policy fields exist that could be supported by laws, there is immeasurable potential for law reform to improve policy outcomes. If we were to make a matrix listing horizontally all the thousand plus jurisdictions adopting laws and vertically, the several hundred policy fields and insert all existing laws into that matrix, by far most of the fields in this matrix would be empty. The fabric of laws is thus very incomplete, including for important policies like the prevention of pandemics. In addition, most of the laws that exist are themselves incomplete, missing important possibilities to pursue their policy goals. This double incompleteness (of the fabric of laws and of the individual laws) hampers policies and creates wide margins for arbitrary decisions, and in some cases corruption. The Regulatory Institute has taken a step to address this double incompleteness by establishing the Model Laws Library and by developing our own model laws. Continue reading The Model Laws Library
The Regulatory Institute proudly assisted the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) develop the world’s first Model Law on Public Financial Management (MLPFM). The MLPFM was unanimously approved by the 51st Plenary Assembly of the SADCPF on 14 July 2022, representing several months of work, by experts in several countries and an extensive consultation process across diverse sectors of the SADC region. This howtoregulate article outlines the regulatory assistance provided by the Regulatory Institute in the development of this trailblazing model law. Given the value of model laws as a lawmaking tool, the Regulatory Institute is developing a Model Laws Library, the aim of which is to facilitate the work of lawmakers. Continue reading World’s first Model Law on Public Financial Management
More and more aspects of life are covered by the internet. This increases the number of relationships that arise between natural and legal persons. These relationships can arise via the internet in general, on platforms like LinkedIn or in virtual worlds like “Second Life”. In the future, the “metaverse” or similar “virtual worlds” may aim to supplant the real world, creating even more complex legal relationships. Continue reading International cyber relationships, internet platforms and virtual worlds: project outline and call for support
Environmental liability is a matter of fairness. The deterrence effect of environmental liability also helps to reduce environmental pollution. Unsurprisingly, environmental liability acts have emerged in many jurisdictions around the globe. Quite a number of them will soon go under revision. In view of that, we undertake the development of a Model Law on Environmental Liability. Our model law covers both the public law and the private law side of environmental liability, offering more choices for regulators. Continue reading Model Law on Environmental Liability
Originally born as an instrument for the modernisation of armies, firearms have proliferated to become a contemporary global problem. Over 250,000 people were killed by firearms worldwide in 2019 and higher still, are those affected by firearms-related health problems, both physical and psychological. Strict regulation is required to combat indiscriminate sales to opposition groups, terrorists or criminals who undermine the rule of law, destabilise societies and perpetuate conflicts. With the aim of creating safer societies, lawmakers have established guidelines to regulate firearms. This howtoregulate article aims to cover the life cycle of firearms: manufacture, marking, possession, storage, destruction and deactivation. Continue reading How can regulation solve firearms problems?
The Regulatory Institute continues its series of model laws, which started with a model law on alcohol, cannabis and tobacco products regulation and presents the model law on emergency management. Continue reading Model Law on Emergency Management
In this Part 2 on regulating the legislature’s ex post control of public finances we provide reference regulation for oversight of the government’s finances and expenditure. Part 1 covered substantive questions to consider for the ex post control of public financial management (PFM) and the international, multilateral and regional regulatory standards for legislative scrutiny. Continue reading The legislature’s ex post control of public finances (Part 2)