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Meta-regulation of justice.

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) RegNet Occasional Paper No 4. Canberra ACT: Regulatory Institutions Network Research School of Social Sciences Australian National University.

Access to justice cannot be secured by more progressive law – legal aid, public interest law. Max Weber explained why: as the quantity of law and the size of bureaucracies grows, law as an institution becomes more useful to those with institutional power (and less accessible to others). In late modernity the more serious the injustice, the more likely large organizations will somewhere be a stakeholder in it. Meta-regulatory strategies, regulated self- regulation, then become more productive paths to justice. Christine Parker has planted the seed of a new debate with the idea of generalizing corporate obligations to prepare EEO plans, environmental and safety plans. Her more general approach would require large organizations to have a plan to continuously improve access to justice. Is meta-regulatory movement toward restorative and responsive justice for the whole of law possible? Large organizations are already on a trajectory of incipient justice meta regulation; NGOs already in many specific ways demand it. Nudging these developments forward more accountably is a social justice agenda worth consideration. (author’s abstract)


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