Rules and Regulators

Rules and Regulators

Rules and Regulators

Rules and Regulators


Julia Black's book is the first authoritative study of rulemaking in one of the most important areas of economic life: financial services. The books has three main aims: first, to build a jurisprudential and linguistic analysis of rules and interpretation, drawing out the implication of these analyses and developing quality proposals for how rules could be used as instruments of regulation. Second, it interprets that analysis and set of proposals with an empirical study of the formation and use of rules in a particular regulatory system: financial services, and third, it evaluates the nature of the rulemaking process. The author's main case study, examining the use of self-regulation in the financial services sector, complements the detailed analysis of rule formation and uses. The book will be an invaluable addition to the libararies of all administrative lawyers and anyone with an interest in the provision and regulation of financial services.


The relationship between rules and discretion has recently begun to attract considerable attention within socio-legal studies. Julia Black's detailed exploration of the nature of rules in the context of regulation, posing theoretical analysis with empirical investigation, is a welcome addition to this emerging literature. The book is valuable also in presenting us with an extended analysis of the regulation of financial services.

Dr Black pursues a number of purposes in her study. Her primary aim is to understand more fully the nature of rule-making in the regulatory process. She does this, in particular, by building on a jurisprudential and linguistic analysis of rules so as to provide a basis for proposing how rules could be used for regulatory purposes. This analysis is then connected with an enquiry into rule-use in the regulation of financial services. The author has a number of important ideas for those who study rule making, arguing that it is essential to understand policy making and decision making, quite apart from developing an appreciation of the potential, but also the limits of rules. She presents a subtle and complex picture of how various forces interact to affect both the content of a rule and the use to which it is put.

Julia Black's book fits naturally into the series of Oxford Socio- Legal Studies, in which a number of works that focus on regulatory behaviour and techniques or on legal rules and discretion have already appeared.

Keith Hawkins . . .

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