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Experts provide input on financial services rules

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The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has received input from international experts at a webinar as it works on a second interim report for a three-year review into the simplification and rationalisation of financial services regulation.

ALRC Part-Time Commissioner and Federal Court judge Craig Colvin says the next report will examine regulatory design and the approach to the overall legislative hierarchy, in a question of “what goes where”.

“We’ve estimated that it would take an average reader 40 days and nights continuously reading to complete the task of going through all of the existing regulation,” Justice Colvin said.

“The scale and complexity of the law means that there can be difficulty for those to whom it applies and those who benefit from its protections to find the relevant law. They need a way to understand the laws architecture.”

Experts from the UK, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong provided insights from their jurisdictions at the webinar, held late last month and later posted on the ALRC website.

Strategic Director of Innovation and Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science Julie Black said issues to consider include that rules are instruments of communication.

“If you’re in a regulatory context then what’s really important is you communicate very clearly to people the behaviours that are expected of them,” Professor Black said.

“I think we lose sight of that, but I think that’s something that’s coming up very strongly in the Australian context at the moment, which is, well, the rules aren’t communicating anything because the system is so complex.”