This seminar examines the evolution of the point of contact between the public and private
regulatory systems in the US and Europe.
The US and European practices around this interface had similar origins,
but began to diverge sharply in the 1980s. Earlier, beginning shortly after
World War II, as part of efforts to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade, the
United States, individual European nations, and the European regional
organizations increasingly referenced voluntary standards in government
regulations, effectively making them mandatory. The specific institutional
structures in which firms and governments pursued common standards—including
Europe’s more hierarchical and nested system of private standard-setting
organizations and the messier, less organized system in the US—led Europeans to
agree to a modified “New Approach” to the system of referring to standards, one
that contemporary legal scholars prefer as more favorable to business and to
wider public interests in efficient, open, and democratic governance.
Speakers and Presenters
JoAnne Yates (Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, Emerita, MIT) and Craig N. Murphy (Betty Freyhof Johnson '44 Professor, Wellesley).
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.