Regulatory Capture and the Role of Academics in Public Policymaking: Lessons from Canada's Environmental Regulatory Review Process

(2019) 52:2 UBC L Rev 479

74 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jason MacLean

Jason MacLean

School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan

Date Written: August 31, 2018

Abstract

This article proposes an academic law reform model capable of generating viable climate and sustainability policy proposals capable of attracting broad popular appeal. The article unfolds as follows. Following a broad and conceptual Introduction, Part II further unpacks the concept of regulatory capture and the processes by which capture is accomplished, using the Canadian petroleum industry’s capture of environmental law and policy to illustrate how capture works in practice and to ground the novel academic law reform model that is the central contribution of this article. Part III further establishes the need for a novel academic approach to countering capture by briefly examining what this article calls the “catch-22” of regulatory capture reform, and again draws on recent evidence from Canadian environmental law reform efforts as illustration. Part IV, the core of the article, examines Canada’s recent environmental regulatory review process, which concerned the reform of the critically-important federal environmental assessment regime and culminated in Bill C-69 and the new Impact Assessment Act, to advocate for a novel and iterative model of academic law reform capable of countering regulatory capture and generating effective and politically-durable climate and sustainability policies in the public interest. Part V concludes by discussing the limitations of the model proposed here and areas in need of further research.

Keywords: regulatory capture, climate change law and policy, sustainability, role of academics in public policymaking

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

MacLean, Jason, Regulatory Capture and the Role of Academics in Public Policymaking: Lessons from Canada's Environmental Regulatory Review Process (August 31, 2018). (2019) 52:2 UBC L Rev 479, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439854

Jason MacLean (Contact Author)

School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan ( email )

College of Education
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada

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