The Structure of Regulation explains why decisions on the substance of a regulation, such as the decision on the level of certainty wanted for the delivery of compliance, must, by necessity, be incorporated into how regulation is configured. Furthermore, when those decisions are made, they trigger other, unavoidable, effects. These include the stifling of innovation in how firms comply, or indeed, exclusion from the regulated activity itself. To explain the detail behind these claims, we look at how different structures of environmental regulation produce different compliance outcomes amongst firms. We commence by looking at why rule following differs from one firm to the next, and proceed to look at why regulation provides a set of requirements through which the rule following practices of firms must operate. This shows that compliance occurs when the rule following practices of firms and the requirements of regulation coincide, and furthermore, that decisions on the structure of regulation require trade-offs between equally desirable outcomes. Since these trade-offs are inevitable, the idea of a there being a win-win way of combining opposing desirable outcomes is misplaced. Rather, the need is to recognise the trade-offs involved and to decide on a choice following their careful consideration.
About the Speakers
David Williamson is Professor Emeritus at Staffordshire University and Honorary Senior research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Manchester. David is interested in why regulation performs as it does, and from this, how business regulation can be improved. The focus of his research has been on the natural environment and corporate social responsibility, with over forty publications in those areas. David is currently working on a journal paper on the regulation of human rights, an edited collection on environmental regulation, and a textbook on environmental regulation. In his spare-time he is a keen reader of non-specialist work on theoretical physics (e.g., cosmology, quantum mechanics), putting his hands to simple DIY tasks, and when the weather is good, gardening.
Gary Lynch-Wood is a Senior Lecturer in Law and Regulation at the University of Manchester’s Law School. Gary teaches contract law and environmental law and he is the Course Director for a postgraduate course on Law, The Corporation, and the Environment. Gary’s research focuses on corporate responsibility and regulation, and he has published widely on this issue in leading journals (e.g., Journal of Law and Society, Journal of Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Journal of Business Ethics). His current research considers how different organisations respond to different forms of regulation, and he has recently completed a monograph on the subject entitled The Structure of Regulation: Explaining Why Regulation Succeeds and Fails. Currently, Gary is working on an edited collection on environmental regulation and a textbook on environmental regulation. In his spare time, he is a keen photographer and is the singer, guitarist and songwriter for indie-folk band, The Black Rats.
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