The Impact of Legislation

A Critical Analysis of Ex Ante Evaluation

Around the globe, ex ante evaluation of legislation has become an established rationalisation of legislative processes. Legislators, politicians, and the public at large increasingly demand new laws to have a particular effect and no unwanted side effects. Various instruments are being applied that all have in common that they must predict the effect of new legislation. Until now, most publications on regulatory impact assessment praise such instruments as being extremely useful. Scepticism, however, is in order as well. Is it not as difficult to predict the future effect of a new set of rules in our complex society as it is to predict where our society as a whole is going? The search for an answer to this sceptical question is at the heart of the book. The newly established Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) brought together some of Europe’s top specialists in the field of ex ante evaluation of legislation, with backgrounds in law, social science, political science, and law and economics. The result of their collaborative effort is a comprehensive and critical book on the pros and cons and on the opportunities, limitations, and challenges of ex ante assessment of legislation.

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Jonathan Verschuuren is Professor of International and European Environmental Law with the Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He is currently also Vice-Dean and Director of the Tilburg Graduate Law School.
Preface and Acknowledgements
Research Group for Methodology of Law and Legal Research

1. Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation: An Introduction
Jonathan Verschuuren and Rob van Gestel

I Context of Ex Ante Evaluation
2. The Context of the Rise of Ex Ante Evaluation
Patricia Popelier and Victoria Verlinden
3. Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation Torn among its Rationales
Pierre Larouche
4. The Politics of the Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation
Eberhard Bohne
5. Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation: between Puzzling and Powering
Robert Hoppe
6. Pushing Evaluation Forward. Institutionalization as a Means to Foster Methodological Growth of Legislative Ex Ante Evaluation
Koen van Aeken

II Ex Ante Evaluation in Practice
7. European Impact Assessment and the Choice of Alternative Regulatory Instruments
Anne Meuwese and Linda Senden
8. National Experiences with General Forms of Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation: The Cases of Germany and Sweden
Sylvia Veit
9. Assessing the Accuracy of Ex Ante Evaluation through Feedback Research: A Case Study
Rob van Gestel and Jan Vranken
10. Assessing Corporate Tax Reform: Incomplete Information and Confl icting Interests
Henk Vording and Hans Gribnau

11. Conclusions. A Conditional Yes to Ex Ante Evaluation of Legislation
Jonathan Verschuuren and Rob van Gestel

All people involved in legislative and regulative processes, and those involved in impact assessments, as well as academics dealing with regulatory issues or regulation from a legal, political science, sociological or economic perspective.