Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation: An Introduction
THE IMPACT OF LEGISLATION: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF EX ANTE EVALUATION, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Jonathan Verschuuren, ed., Leiden-Boston, 2009
9 Pages Posted: 10 May 2009
Date Written: May 8, 2009
Since the past decade, legislative processes around the globe are being rationalised by introducing ex ante evaluation. Legislators, politicians, and the public at large increasingly demand new laws to have a particular effect and no unwanted side-effects. Various instruments are applied that all have in common that they must predict the effect of new legislation. These instruments range from small tests into one specific topic, for instance the effect of a new piece of legislation on the environment, or on the economic position of small and medium sized enterprises, to a full swing regulatory impact assessment that assesses all probable and possible effects of new legislation.
Until now, most publications on regulatory impact assessment praise such instruments as being extremely useful. Scepticism, however, is in order as well. Is it not as difficult to predict the future effect of a new set of rules in our complex society as it is to predict where our society as a whole is going? The answer to this sceptical question forms the heart of a new book published with Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. The newly established Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research at Tilburg University, the Netherlands invited some of Europe’s top specialists in the field of ex ante evaluation of legislation, with a background in law, social science, political science, and law and economics. The result of their collaborate effort is a comprehensive, critical, book on the pros and cons and on the opportunities, limitations and challenges of ex ante assessment of legislation.
This paper is a preprint version of the introductory chapter to this book.
Keywords: legislation, regulation, evaluation, governance
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