Publications

Documents
International Organisations and Networks: selected documents
OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV) (2021)
International Regulatory Co-operation - Best Practice Principles
Established domestic regulatory frameworks are reaching their limits to cope with today’s increasing cross-boundary policy challenges. Only united action can effectively navigate the rapid growth of economic integration and interdependencies, particularly driven by innovative technologies. Yet, contemporary regulatory frameworks tend to build on national jurisdictional boundaries constraining common solutions to meet the growing transboundary nature of policy challenges. In the aftermaths of global crises, such as the 2008 financial crisis or the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the vulnerabilities of global health, economic and governance systems, it is time for a true paradigm shift towards more systematic consideration of the international environment in domestic regulatory frameworks. The OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation provide practical guidance supporting policymakers and civil servants in adapting regulatory frameworks to the interconnected reality. They outline key elements in defining a dedicated whole-of-government strategy and governance structure, embedding international considerations throughout the domestic regulatory design, development and delivery, and leveraging bilateral, regional and multilateral international cooperation on regulatory matters to support national policy objectives. Compiling various ways of international regulatory cooperation and experiences from countries, the OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation provide the impetus for policymakers and civil servants in a variety of legal and administrative environments on how to promote quality and resilience of regulatory frameworks in times of an increasingly interconnected world.
Literature
Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Measurement: selected literature
Coglianese C., Scheffler G., Walters D. (2021)
Unrules
At the center of contemporary debates over public law lies administrative agencies’ discretion to impose rules. Yet, for every one of these rules, there are also unrules nearby. Often overlooked and sometimes barely visible, unrules are the decisions that regulators make to lift or limit the scope of a regulatory obligation, for instance through waivers, exemptions, and exceptions. In some cases, unrules enable regulators to reduce burdens on regulated entities or to conserve valuable government resources in ways that make law more efficient. However, too much discretion to create unrules can facilitate undue business influence over the law, weaken regulatory schemes, and even undermine the rule of law. In this paper, we conduct the first systematic empirical investigation of the hidden world of unrules. Using a computational linguistic approach to identify unrules across the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the United States Code, we show that unrules are an integral and substantial feature of the federal regulatory system. Our analysis shows that, by several conservative measures, there exists one obligation-alleviating word for approximately every five to six obligation-imposing words in federal law. We also show that unrules are surprisingly unrestrained by administrative law. In stark contrast to administrative law’s treatment of obligation-imposing rules, regulators wield substantially more discretion in deploying unrules to alleviate regulatory obligations. As a result, a major form of agency power remains hidden from view and relatively unencumbered by law. Recognizing the central role that unrules play in our regulatory system reveals the need to reorient administrative law and incorporate unrules more explicitly into its assumptions, doctrines, and procedures.