The Appropriate Level of Enforcement in Multilevel Regulation Mapping Issues in Avoidance of Regulatory Overstretch

Michiel A. Heldeweg, Ramses A. Wessel


In modern day ‘multilevel’ regulation, legal enforcement of transnational standards usually takes place at another level than where the norm was created in the first place. The quest for smart regulation begs the question which level is most appropriate to proper legal enactment and enforcement. Not only as a matter of location (e.g. inter- or supranational, or domestic), but also concerning the level of strength (i.e. intensity of prescription and/or coercion). How can ‘regulatory overstretch’ be avoided – given smart regulatory principles of subsidiarity and responsiveness? A general description is provided of regulatory enforcement, from a regulatory and an enforcement perspective, followed by a discussion of appropriateness of enforcement from the dimensions of location-level and of strength-level. Finally, a simple model is presented for a ‘remediableness analysis’ of appropriate matching of strength and location level scenarios of enforcement – as guidance for enactment and enforcement of transnational standards without regulatory overstretch.

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