September 23, 2013 – POLS 3300 – Lecture 8
September 20 (Friday lecture) – case Friday – Chatterjev v. Ontario
The Start of September 23, 2013 lecture:
There Ought to Be a Law – Les Pal on “instrument choice”
- “Justice officials and politicians often reach for a law because it is a primary
instrument of government, and because it makes intuitive sense to influence
behaviour and situations by making rules.”
o If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail…
o Your instruments will often shape the problems you see and the
solutions you propose
o Ontario gov’t can’t change the criminal code but can address criminal
behaviour through (example) property regulations. That’s their
o Solutions at a federal level would be to create a law about it.
o Les Pal is trying to caution justice department – just because there is a
problem, don’t just jump to making a law and throwing it in the
- Fundamental questions (before making a law)…
o If a rule or law is appropriate, what type of rule = primary legislation,
regulation, voluntary code, guidelines?
o If it is not appropriate, are there other ways to influence behaviour –
taxes, grants, subsidies, services, information?
o Is direct behaviour really the key target, or is it something more
fundamental like character, or culture, or social context?
o To what extent should government be getting involved at all, or is it a
matter of working with social and private sector groups to build their
capacity to deal with problems?
be clear of what the problem is – is it norms or values? Is it a particular
behaviour? Think about what you are trying to do first.
- what is the primary target?...
o individual behaviour
o norms underpinning the behaviour?
o Processes (interaction of norms and behaviour in context of al or
- Legislation and regulation is not the only legal instrument available;
decisions, quasi-legislation, contracts, and incorporation by reference are
also viable legal instruments
o Two dimensions: generality and degree of binding. For example,
quasi-legislation is generally non-binding but
bulletins/interpretations can have a large practical effect and might
be more suitable. [[[[ this shit will not be tested ]]]] September 23, 2013 – POLS 3300 – Lecture 8
- THIS IS AN IMPORTANT SLIDE:
- There are alternatives to using legal instruments…
Instead of using law, make information campaign. It can affect
behaviour. Ex. Targeting smoking, drinking and driving,
domestic abuse, etc.
The problem with it:
Relies on voluntary compliance. If people are dead set on
behaviour, putting a poster in the subway will not stop
the behaviour. Relies on the actors thems