:"This article is for the legal term. For regulation of genes, see regulation of gene expression. For the regulation of sports, see Regulation of sport. For regulation in electrical systems see Voltage regulator. For biological regulation, see homeostasis".Regulation can be considered as legal restrictions promulgated by government authority. One can consider regulation as actions of conduct imposing sanctions (such as a fine). This action of administrative law, or implementing regulatory law, may be contrasted with statutory or case law.

Regulation mandated by a state attempts to produce outcomes which might not otherwise occur, produce or prevent outcomes in different places to what might otherwise occur, or produce or prevent outcomes in different timescales than would otherwise occur. Common examples of regulation include attempts to control market entries, prices, wages, pollution effects, employment for certain people in certain industries, standards of production for certain goods, the military forces and services.The economics of imposing or removing regulations relating to markets is analysed in regulatory economics.

Regulation and Statute

A statute is passed by the legislature. A statute can have regulatory intent.

An implementing regulation (in democratic systems using laws as the basis for state action) is adopted by a public administration regulatory agency. In some national venues, there may be further review, as by an Office of Administrative Law (OAL). In countries with well established judicial systems, the regulation will be subject to judicial review, on challenge by a party having standing to bring an action ('standing' is usually interpreted to mean being adversely affected).

Regulation as a legal term

A "regulation" is a form of secondary legislation which is used to implement a primary piece of legislation appropriately, or to take account of particular circumstances or factors emerging during the gradual implementation of, or during the period of, a primary piece of legislation.

Other forms of secondary legislation are "statutory instruments", "statutory orders", "by-laws" and "rules". Some of these (but not all of them) need to be referred back before being implemented, to the primary legislative process.

Types of regulation

Regulations, like any other form of coercive action, have costs for some and benefits for others. Efficient regulations may only be said to exist where the total benefits to some people exceed the total costs to others.

Regulations are justified using a variety of reasons and therefore can be classified in several broad categories:

*Market failures - regulation due to inefficiency. Intervention due to a classical economics argument to market failure.
**Risk of monopoly
**Collective action, or public good
**Inadequate information
**Unseen externalities
*Collective desires - regulation about collective desires or considered judgements on the part of a significant segments of society
*Diverse experiences - regulation with a view of eliminating or enhancing opportunities for the formation of diverse preferences and beliefs
*Social subordination - regulation aimed to increase or reduce social subordination of various social groups
*Endogenous preferences - regulation's purpose is to affect the development of certain preferences on an aggregate level
*Irreversibility - regulation that deals with the problem of irreversibility – the problem in which a certain type of conduct from current generations results in outcomes from which future generations may not recover from at all.
*Interest group transfers - regulation that results from efforts by self-interest groups to redistribute wealth in their favor, which may disguise itself as one or more of the justifications above.

Deregulation, Regulatory Reform and Liberalization

The second half of the 20th Century saw a wave of attempts to modify some existing regulatory structures and systematize the creation and review of new ones. A part of this was the deregulation movement.

A parallel development with 'deregulation' has been organized, ongoing programs to review regulatory initiatives with a view to minimizing, simplifying, and making more cost effective regulations. Such efforts, given impetus by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 in the United States, are embodied in the United States Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the United Kingdom's Better Regulation Commission. Cost-benefit analysis is frequently used in such reviews. In addition, there have been regulatory innovations, usually suggested by economists, such as emissions trading. Academic research on wedding economic theory with regulatory activity continues.

From other point of view, liberalization does not always imply deregulation, but more players in the Market (desoligolipolization).

International experience

United Kingdom

An example in Britain is that there is primary, central government legislation covering the operations of local government, such as devolution. These functions include education, social services, leisure or provision.

In that primary legislation there are provisions to allow local authorities to legislate for themselves, within reason and under proper process, on a range of matters in their areas of responsibility. This allows the law to be effectively applied with appropriate flexibility and taking account of local factors. These are often best known by the local authority concerned.

Regulations also assist the primary legislative process, the national parliament, to avoid the potential bottleneck of the detailed implementation of all the laws it produces in all the varying circumstances throughout the land or throughout the process of their implementation.

Since 1997, central government has been working to improve regulation by applying new principles of better regulation.


In French law, the difference between statute law, adopted by the legislative branch and regulation is of paramount importance when it comes to adoption, amendment or judicial review. The French constitution reserves a number of topics for statute law; in normal times, the executive branch may take decisions on such matters only if it has been specifically authorized by a statute to do so as secondary legislation through decrees, or if it has been specifically and rarely authorized by the legislative branch to do so as primary legislation through ordinances. On all other matters, the executive branch is solely responsible for issuing primary legislation through decrees. Secondary or tertiary legislation may come in the form of "arrêtés".

All legislation and regulation issued by the executive, including ordinances not ratified by the legislative branch, is subject to judicial review by the administrative courts, such as the Conseil d'État.

European Union

EU regulation has a general scope, and is obligatory in all its elements and directly applicable in all Member States of the European Union. Any local laws contrary to the regulation are overruled, as EU Law has supremacy over the laws of the Member States. New legislation enacted by Member states must be consistent with the requirements of EU regulations. For these reasons regulations constitute the most powerful or influential of the EU legislative acts.

Other forms of legislative acts of the European Union (EU) are directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.


The Government of Canada and the various provincial governments have the power to enact secondary legislation known as regulations by Order-in-Council.

ee also

*Bootleggers and Baptists
*Code of Federal Regulations
*Delegated legislation
*Federal Register
*public affairs
*Public choice theory
*Regulatory capture

External links

* [ A Comparative Bibliography: Regulatory Competition on Corporate Law]
* [ See Regulation & Governance, A new Blackwell Journal dedicated for the study of Regulation]
* [ Reports of UK practice from the Better Regulation Commission]
* [ A glimpse into some United Kingdom deregulatory procedures]
* [ An Introduction to Regulation]
* [ Regulation updates service on the UK government Business Link website]
*The [ ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance maintains a website that is dedicated to the subject]
* The [ Mercatus Center] at George Mason University has a [ Regulatory Studies Program]
* [ ReguStand dedicated for helping SMEs manage regulation]
* [ Regulatory law in the UK]
* [ ICTs, Markets and Regulation] The role of markets and reasons for their failure, and in the information and communications technologies arena, the affects of innovation and convergence on market structure, and the relative importance of market failure and social responsibility as reasons for regulating (2005)



* [ Lawrence A. Cunningham, A Prescription to Retire the Rhetoric of 'Principles-Based Systems' in Corporate Law, Securities Regulation and Accounting (2007)]

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