Economic Regulators

Subject LAWS70445 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

While regulation is a well-established discipline, relatively little academic attention has been dedicated to the challenges facing and dynamics influencing regulatory agencies. The global acceptance of competition law as an element of economic policy is a remarkable modern development. Today nearly 120 jurisdictions have competition laws, and 90 of these are 30 years old or less. Using rigorous theoretical frameworks as well as practical examples, the subject will draw upon the experience of both older and newer regulatory regimes to examine the doctrinal and institutional determinants of effective regulatory performance. The subject will explore approaches that economic regulatory agencies such as competition authorities can take to improve their own performances and will identify considerations that should be accounted for in the design of regulatory systems. Taught by a world-leading authority on the design and performance of competition authorities, this subject will use the example of competition law to consider what it means to be an 'effective' economic regulatory agency.

Principal topics will include:

  • Economic regulation—major institutional issues
  • Incentives and motivations shaping economic regulatory agencies
  • Assignment of functions to economic regulatory agencies
  • Agency governance
  • Economic regulatory agencies and the political process
  • Assignment of policy tools
  • Evaluation of economic regulatory agency performance.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • have a sophisticated understanding of the institutional framework within which economic regulatory agencies devise and implement their programs;
  • be able to critically analyse the incentives and motivations that guide economic regulatory agencies in performing their duties;
  • be able to evaluate at an advanced level the range of factors relevant to the assignment of functions and responsibilities to economic regulatory agencies;
  • be able to critically assess different models of governance of economic regulatory agencies and the assignment of decision-making tasks within such agencies;
  • have a sophisticated appreciation of the relationship of economic regulatory agencies to the political process and the practical implications for how agencies perform their duties;
  • have an advanced understanding of the challenges presented by regulatory multiplicity both across and within jurisdictions;
  • be able to critically assess which policy tools are best suited to solve the economic problems within an economic regulatory agency’s portfolio of responsibilities;
  • be able to critically assess how regulatory agencies set priorities and use resources;
  • have an advanced understanding of the link between an economic regulatory agency’s capabilities and its performance;
  • have developed a sophisticated approach to assessing the quality of economic regulatory agency performance; and
  • be able to apply the advanced knowledge that they develop in the subject in the context of competition authorities, consumer protection authorities and a range of other economic regulatory agencies such as corporate and tax regulators.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • 9,000 word research paper (90%)on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

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