Legislative Policy

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


A theory of legislation must study the nature, the possibilities and the limitations of any given legislative policy, it must find out which are the regulatory instruments that are best suited to a specific community. It should do so by firstly answering whether the issue at stake can be regulated by the market through property rights, civil liability and contract law. Second, when the market fails in its regulatory task, a theory of legislation should provide a choice of other regulatory instruments, ranging from the provision of information to citizens, who can thus make their own decisions, to hard regulation. A regulatory policy will be all the richer and more effective when the operational regulatory instruments it provides are numerous and varied, when the objectives pursued by the regulation and the instruments used are attuned, and when the solution provided is accepted by society with as little coercion as possible. A good legislative technique has to take care, not only of the quality of the legal drafting, but also of the analysis of the legislative policy underpinning each draft—a policy which, ultimately, must be consistent with the constitution and the tasks it assigns to public authorities.


Legislative policy Property rights Liability Contract law Market failures Regulation by information Chicago school 


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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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