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The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent not-for-profit institution that aims to promote an understanding of the role of law in society. We identify and analyse issues of contemporary interest and importance, disseminating the insights of decision-makers and experts to a global audience through our extensive online resource of free-to-download Policy Briefings, Opinion Pieces, and multimedia podcasts.

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The Purposes, Organization, and Supervision of Regulators: Implications for Accountability and Liability

Dr Christopher Decker
Publication date: 
Fri, 15 Jul 2011
As recent events in the financial sector have demonstrated, the action or inaction of regulators can profoundly affect lives and livelihoods. It follows that regulators must operate within well-designed frameworks of accountability and liability. 
In this policy brief, the author advances the theory of 'confirmation bias' to explain recent systematic defective regulatory decision-making and actions, and argues that accountability and liability frameworks for regulators must provide the appropriate incentives for regulators. 

In this respect, it is argued that questions of regulatory accountability and liability cannot be separated from broader questions about the purposes of regulation (why we regulate); the external and internal organization of regulatory agencies (how we regulate); and regulatory oversight and supervision arrangements (who regulates the regulators).