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Regulation and Deregulation

Module by: John Bosco. E-mail the author

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Who decides? The Lawmaker or the Source of conduct. The primary characteristic of the process of making a law is who gets to make the decision about whether or not to engage in conduct.

Sometimes, a Lawmaker wants to make the decision for the Source. This is called regulation. With regulation, the Source has no choice but the Lawmaker's.

At other times, a Lawmaker does not want to regulate either the affirmative conduct or the negative conduct. When there is an absence of intervention by a Lawmaker in both affirmative and negative conduct, a Lawmaker is allowing the Source of conduct to make the decision. This is called deregulation. In deregulation, the Source has autonomy. It is up to the Source to decide.

You cannot tell whether or not a Lawmaker has put the decision whether or not to engage in conduct into the hands of a Source of conduct without looking at both the affirmative polarity and the negative polarity of conduct. It is only when a Lawmaker does not intervene with regard to both polarities that the decision whether or not to engage in conduct is the Source's to make.

John Bosco
Project Director
The Legal Literacy Project

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