Regulating Low Risks: Innovative Strategies and Implementation

25 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2013  

Robert Baldwin

London School of Economics - Law Department

Julia Black

London School of Economics - Law Department

Gerard O'Leary

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland

Date Written: May 1, 2013

Abstract

Risk-based regulation tends to direct concerns towards higher risks but low risks present a number of challenges for regulators. The latter have to justify the level of attention they pay to such risks; they have to deal with different kinds of low risks and they have to decide which tools to use to control lower risks. What regulators cannot do is ignore lower risks. This article describes how a strategic framework for regulating low risks was devised and it examines how academic research into strategies for low risks was translated into practical strategies for application in the field. A number of messages are to be drawn: the distinction between high and low risks is by no means unproblematic; traditional theories of risk-based regulation do not come fully to grips with lower risks; but it is possible to devise an organised method for choosing the intervention tools for lower risks and such a method can be implemented on the ground if used with judgement by experienced regulators.

Suggested Citation

Baldwin, Robert and Black, Julia and O'Leary, Gerard, Regulating Low Risks: Innovative Strategies and Implementation (May 1, 2013). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 9/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2258976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2258976

Robert Baldwin (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
44 0171 955 7258 (Phone)

Julia Black

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Gerard O'Leary

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland ( email )

PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
Wexford, 053-916 06
Ireland

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