Towards Optimal Enforcement

13 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Kent H. Barnett

Kent H. Barnett

University of Georgia School of Law

Date Written: April 2, 2019


In Private Enforcement in Administrative Courts, Professor Michael Sant'Ambrogio argues that a hybrid private/public enforcement model in agency proceedings may provide the best hope of achieving optimal federal law enforcement. In other words, a blunderbuss approach of choosing public enforcement or private enforcement (whether in judicial or agency proceedings) is unlikely to prove ideal. He identifies various tools--such as agencies' role in the review or initiation of proceedings, or the use of class-wide proceedings--that Congress or agencies can use to calibrate agency enforcement to its optimal design. I consider three additional tools that may optimize enforcement goals with hybrid public and private enforcement, whether inside or outside of administrative proceedings: (1) statutorily-mandated primary jurisdiction, (2) enforcement in either judicial or agency proceedings by state authorities, and (3) limits on federal preemption of concurrent state-law private causes of action.

Keywords: administrative law, agency, enforcement, public enforcement, private enforcement, primary jurisdiction, preemption

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Kent Harris, Towards Optimal Enforcement (April 2, 2019). 72 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 127; University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-13. Available at SSRN:

Kent Harris Barnett (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

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