The Making of Laws

Once things were simpler; we had (in common law jurisdictions) laws created by custom (no more than what most people usually did), which turned into precedent, mostly solemnly followed by judges and laws made by the dictate of monarchs. Then, with the coming of Parliamentary democracy Parliaments made laws which they called statutes. Things became more complex.

When these statutes were insufficient to cope with the complexity of modern life Parliament evolved statutory instruments, which dealt with the details of regulations. These, too, provide insufficient for the taste of legislators (whose only true power is to make laws) and so they designed regulatory bodies to cover specific spheres of human activity.

In the regulatory bodies were formed to deal with finance, investment, banking, health services, care services and so forth. These regulatory bodies made their own regulations (more laws) and also issued what they called “guidance” which although not strictly speaking laws you had better follow the guidance or else you will be treated as having broken the law.

Thoreau said that any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it. Now we have many fools who are making rules and many more fools minding them.

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