Source: (2011) University of British Columbia Law Review. 44(3):475+

Regulation that is responsive to the moves regulated actors make, to industry context and to the environment seems a complex task. The argument of this essay is that it is complex in the sense that being a parent regulating children is complex. Yet unsophisticated people can be successful parents by contemplating some simple heuristics of family regulation. This essay seeks to reduce the complexities of responsiveness to nine heuristics that state regulators, businesses, and NGOs can apply in seeking to regulate one another. The ideas of pyramids of supports and of sanctions are at the heart of this project. Partnership with those one intends to regulate is possible in the process of designing regulatory pyramids. The paradox of responsive regulation is that by having a capability to escalate to tough enforcement, most regulation can be about collaborative capacity building. Most of the action can fall within a strengths-based pyramid, a pyramid of supports for business compliance and continuous improvement. Finally, the essay considers how we can know that responsive regulation has worked. (excerpt)