The Authority and Interpretation of Regulations

82 Modern Law Review 1003 (2019) Vol: 82, Issue 6, 2019

Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-22

26 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2020

See all articles by Andrew Edgar

Andrew Edgar

The University of Sydney Law School

Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 24, 2020

Abstract

In the past half century, governments have increasingly relied on regulations—secondary legislation issued by administrative bodies and departments—to impose obligations on private parties, multiplying the occasions for regulatory interpretation. This article develops a theory of regulatory interpretation. It argues that such a theory involves understanding the authority of regulations. Turning to the public law of the UK, US, and Australia, this article identifies an intriguing similarity; in each case, regulations have authority when they rationally and non-arbitrarily implement delegated power within the means permitted by statute. The article then argues that this account of regulatory authority justifies a common approach to interpretation in which the object of interpretation is the purpose the regulation seeks to implement, discerned from the regulation’s text and accompanying explanation of its purpose, and constrained by background legal norms.

Keywords: regulatory interpretation, textualism, Hart, purpose, statutory interpretation, judicial review, U.S. administrative law, U.K. administrative law, Australian administrative law

Suggested Citation

Edgar, Andrew and Stack, Kevin M., The Authority and Interpretation of Regulations (April 24, 2020). 82 Modern Law Review 1003 (2019) Vol: 82, Issue 6, 2019 , Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584511

Andrew Edgar (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
182
PlumX Metrics