Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    An Ecological Approach to Regulatory Studies?
    Parker, C ; Haines, F (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2018)
    Regulatory studies has been mainly occupied with addressing the social and economic crises of contemporary capitalism through instrumentally and responsively rational approaches. This article asks how regulatory scholarship can better respond to the ecological crisis now facing our world and our governance systems alongside social and economic crises. There are both possibilities and problems with instrumentally rational regulatory approaches that see human ecological impact as an externality or market failure and socio-legal approaches to regulatory studies that emphasize the need to attend to the social and political aspects of regulation using a responsively rational approach. A third big shift towards an ecologically rational approach to regulatory studies is needed to comprehend our embeddedness within ecological systems. An ecologically rational approach also calls for an understanding of how multiple, diverse ways of sustainable being can intersect with and challenge current regulatory regimes dominated by an instrumentally rational approach.
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    The Promise of Ecological Regulation: The Case of Intensive Meat
    Parker, C ; Haines, F ; Boehm, L (American Bar Association, 2018)
    Eating less intensive meat is a solution to many problems: to human and ecological health and to the intense cruelty visited upon the millions of intensively bred animals across the globe. This Article outlines the contribution regulation makes to this problem and how it might be part of the solution. It begins by summarizing why intensive meat production generates so many problems that cut across regulatory domains. It then shows how current forms of regulation fail to grapple with the intersecting harms generated by intensive meat, highlighting the need for an ecological makeover for regulation itself. Further, regulation, as an instrumental form of law and policy implementation, neglects the interconnected challenges of the whole system. Regulatory scholarship, in the form of responsive regulation, provides ways to overcome at least some of the social aspects of regulatory failure. Yet the Article shows, drawing on two brief case examples highlighting an instrumental and responsive regulatory approach, that the ecological weakness of regulation is often overlooked. Finally, the Article teases out the characteristics of ecologically responsive regulation that can contribute to lowering meat consumption and then examines nascent regulatory tools and strategies that could be refashioned to encourage a shift towards an ecologically rich and socially resilient future.