Understanding Regulation

Regulation and deregulation described, explained and analysed.

Regulation protects the weak and vulnerable. Regulation protects the environment. But regulation costs time and money. And it makes illegal that which would otherwise be legal. Regulation is therefore always controversial, and it can be very complex.

The United Kingdom has a well-deserved reputation for sensible regulation. It was an innovator in deregulation and economic regulation, and it is now home to tough no-nonsense regulators who nevertheless deploy sensible discretion about who to punish and when. There have however been some dreadful regulatory failures - the financial crisis, Stafford hospital, Grenfell Tower. And the burden of regulation is getting heavier, not only for business but also for the police, teachers etc. - and for taxpayers who have to foot the bill. Are we over-protecting our children? And is 'the regulatory state' now too powerful?

Regulation is also a huge part of government, but it hardly features in civil service training. This website accordingly explores current regulatory issues and describes current best practice. Its author was formerly Chief Executive of the UK's Better Regulation Executive and then the Competition Commission.

Those interested in other aspects of government might like to investigate other Understanding Government websites which look at the UK civil service, policy making, and 'speaking truth to power'.

Further information About this website, and Contact information, is here.

There is an extensive on-line reference library.

Several of the key issues discussed on the website have been brought together in a Cambridge University Policy Brief - Getting Regulation Right .

My blog is here and a link to my Twitter feed is in the footer below.

These websites have other interesting detail:

Academic experts, and some of their writing, are listed here.

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Please do drop me an email if you spot anything that is out-of-date, or any other errors, typos or faulty links.