Eroding the mandatory nature of law: testing modern regulatory compliance

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Evidence presented to the financial services Royal Commission suggests that some intensely regulated large businesses regard compliance with the law as a risk management issue, rather than an absolute obligation.
This project will investigate interaction between legal compliance, risk management and the normative status of law in regulated sectors. It will also examine the role of regulators and regulatory guidelines in ensuring legal compliance. The work is significant as it is the first investigation into business approaches to the relationship between law and risk management. The project will have impact on the way in which regulators deal with large businesses.

The ideal researcher on this project will have a keen interest in economic regulation of business. The researcher will need to be able to demonstrate experience and confidence in applying legal research to a policy environment.

The project is expected to generate a high degree of interest from both the regulated businesses on which it will impact as well as regulatory agencies in the Treasury portfolio:

  • the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC);
  • the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority;
  • AUSTRAC; and
  • the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

This means that the researcher will need to be comfortable in empirical research methods including interviews, surveys and document reviews. Experience in using qualitative data analysis techniques would be beneficial.

There are two areas in which the researcher might specialise:

  1. Quantitative data analysis: the work is likely to require the types of that are usually associated with empirical legal research and knowledge of and experience in using R or a commercial equivalent will be helpful; or
  2. Legal theory: having the skills to analyse the asserted erosion in the normative quality of law, and what that means in Treasury portfolio regulatory compliance.

The most important characteristic of the researcher is a willingness to be collegiate member of a group of researchers who are enthusiastic about their work and regard this project as being vital to the future of business law and regulation.

Supervisory team
Dimity
Kingsford-Smith

Law
Centre for Law Markets and Regulation
Pamela
Hanrahan

Business School
Centre for Law Markets and Regulation
Rob
Nicholls

Business School
Centre for Law Markets and Regulation
Register to Apply
Non-UNSW staff/students must Register to Apply
d.kingsfordsmith@unsw.edu.au