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A Soft Law

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
Chapter
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 6)

Abstract

Modern social states are not limited to guaranteeing order and regulating procedures as primitive states were. Their legal systems are not merely a procedural framework, but are charged with social and economic purposes, and therefore require more laws than traditional laissez-faire states. But the critique of market failure has moved on to the critique of government failure and the proclamation of the following regulatory trilemma: any regulatory intervention is either irrelevant or generates negative effects on society or produces the disintegration of the legal order itself. Law in social states has reached a limit in terms of its effectiveness, it cannot respond adequately to the demands of politics or economy. It is therefore necessary to seek new paths, and while some recommend pure and simple deregulation, others invite us to look for more indirect forms of regulation. These are new, softer forms of state intervention that are not intended to replace but to complement the classic forms of regulation. Some relevant examples of these new regulatory instruments are industry standards (e.g. ISO standards) drawn up by private actors, self-regulation, reinforced self-regulation, indirect regulation, symbolic regulation, etc. They are new forms of soft law that can complement the array of regulatory instruments traditionally available to policy makers. The objective of this chapter is to point out their possibilities and limitations.

Keywords

Substantive law Procedural law Regulatory trilemma Indirect intervention Soft law Private norm-making 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de DerechoUniversidad de Alcalá de HenaresAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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