Smart enforcement. Theory and practice

F. Blanc, Michael Faure

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There is an increasing attention both on how inspections and enforcement efforts with respect to regulatory breaches can be made as effective as possible. Regulatory breaches refer to violations of norms that have been prescribed in public regulation, such as, for example, environmental regulation, food safety regulation or regulation aiming at occupational health and safety. The enforcement of this regulation is qualified as regulatory enforcement. It has been claimed that inspections should not be random, but based on risk and target-specific violators and violations. Such a “smart” enforcement policy would be able to increase the effectiveness of enforcement policy. Policy makers are enthusiastic about this new strategy, but less is known about the theoretical foundations, nor about the empirical evidence. This article presents the theoretical foundations for smart enforcement as well as some empirics. Moreover, the conditions under which smart enforcement could work are
identified, but also a few potential limits are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-103
JournalEuropean Journal of Law Reform
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • regulatory inspections
  • regulatory enforcement
  • environmental regulations
  • smart regulation

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