The Practice and Discourse of Legislative Evaluation in Portugal
ENBR Working Paper No 12/2007
19 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2011
Date Written: October 15, 2007
The present article intends to assess, in a systematic and critical way, what has been done in Portugal regarding the so-called Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), while at the same time, contributing to its development and maturity. A careful and in depth analysis of the Portuguese institutional discourse towards regulatory reform since its early days is provided, with special emphasis given to the legal instruments deployed by the current Government. Our aim is to provide a sound and rigorous explanation to the in existence of a "true" or "substantive" RIA system actually operating in Portugal. Reflecting and borrowing from international experiences and practices, from OECD and EU documents and Portuguese scholarship, we demonstrate that there is a huge gap between the reality of impact assessment and its political discourse in Portugal. We argue that the lack of comprehensive RIA is inevitability stemming from the shortcomings of the current Portuguese system. Indeed, the "formal" system has been so far incapable of providing us with a single example of an impact assessment study.
Keywords: theory of legislation, regulation, law, regulatory impact assessment, better regulation
JEL Classification: K20, L51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation