The Authority and Interpretation of Regulations

25 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 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: November 2019

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 nonarbitrarily 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.

Suggested Citation

Edgar, Andrew and Stack, Kevin M., The Authority and Interpretation of Regulations (November 2019). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 82, Issue 6, pp. 1009-1033, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614682 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12458

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

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