Self-Regulation of an Industry versus the Rule of Law
Howard Snoyman, Executive Legal Counsel, Solal Technologies (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
Self-regulation is an honourable concept. Proponents of the system emphasise the relative amiability and expediency of dispute resolution mechanisms, and remind industry that to the extent that it is not satisfied with the relevant self-regulatory body, that it has the power to effect the necessary changes to the system because such system derives its very power from the industry.
However, self-regulation becomes difficult and hostile when the regulatory body starts to become more stringent and impose more onerous restrictions than the law in place at the time. When common law rights become eroded through self-regulation, a return to the rule of law becomes necessary for the long-term viability of the industry or sector concerned.
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