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Enforcement is a stage in the proceedings of the SEC

Enforcement is the proper execution of the process of ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, rules, standards, and social norms.[1]

Governments attempt to effectuate successful implementation of policies by enforcing laws and regulations.[2] Enactment refers to application of a law or regulation, or carrying out of an executive or judicial order.

Theories of enforcement[edit]

Enforcement serves a number of functions; the enforcement of social norms can ensure conformity within insular communities,[3] the enforcements of laws can maximize social benefits and protect the public interest,[4] and enforcement may also serve the self-interest of the institutions that oversee enforcement.[5] Enforcement can be effectuated by both public institutions and private, non-governmental actors.[6] Enforcement is often accomplished through coercive means or by utilizing power disparities to constrain action.[7] Some scholars, such as Kate Andrias, have also argued that institutions enforce rules when deciding "when and how to apply" laws and regulations.[8]

Delegation of enforcement powers[edit]

Some governments will delegate enforcement powers to subordinate governmental entities or private parties.[9] In the United States, for example, the federal government and state governments often delegate a range of enforcement powers to administrative agencies.[10] There has been considerable debate in legal scholarship about the degree to which governments should oversee and supervise institutions to which enforcement powers have been delegated.[11]

Enforcement mechanisms[edit]

Enforcement mechanisms are a central part of various policies. Enforcement mechanisms co-determine natural resource governance outcomes[12] and pollution-related policies may require proper enforcement mechanisms (and often substitutes) to have a positive effect.[13] Enforcement may include law enforcement or combine incentive and disincentive-based policy instruments.[14] A meta-analysis of policy studies across multiple policy domains suggests enforcement mechanisms are the "only modifiable treaty design choice" with the potential to improve the mostly low effectiveness of international treaties.[15][16]

In 2017, of 265 policies for ocean protection only 13% had specific enforcement mechanisms.[17]

Enforcement mechanisms are major component of governance structures.[18] It has been suggested that an effective global public health security convention would require a governing body (or bodies) to enforce the framework with appropriate enforcement mechanisms.[19] Similar approaches include the concept of "climate clubs" of polities for climate change mitigation. In such, "border adjustments [...] have to be introduced to target those states that do not participate [...] to avoid shifting effects with ecologically and economically detrimental consequences", with such "border adjustments or eco-tariffs" incentivizing other countries to adjust their standards and domestic production to join the climate club.[20] The Paris Agreement may lack enforcement mechanisms.[21]

On a national level, penalties for non-complying countries could include:

  • public reprimands
  • economic sanctions
  • denial of benefits, such as those related to travel, trade, and tourism
  • public disclosures of compliance, which could act either as an incentive or penalty[19]
  • tariffs[20]

Benefits for countries could include:

  • tangible resources, such as financial aid or technical assistance
  • other support
  • access to data and information, recommendations and guidance, or other services provided by a governing body[19]
  • tariffs

Selective enforcement[edit]

Institutions may choose to exercise discretion, thereby enforcing laws, regulations, or norms only in selective circumstances.[22] Some scholars, such as Joseph H. Tieger, have suggested that selective enforcement is an inherent component of all enforcement regimes, because it is impossible for enforcers to observe and catch every violation.[23] Other scholars, such as Margaret H. Lemos and Alex Stein, have suggested that "strategic" enforcement is a cost-effective method of achieving social benefits; by focusing enforcement on the worst violators, other violators will "downscale" their activities so that they do not appear to be the worst offender.[24]

See also[edit]


The citations in this article are written in Bluebook style. Please see the talk page for more information.

  1. ^ See Black's Law Dictionary, Enforcement (2d ed. 1910).
  2. ^ Kate Andrias, The President's Enforcement Power Archived 2016-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, 88 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1031, 1034 (2013); Avlana Eisenberg, Expressive Enforcement, 61 UCLA L. Rev. 858, 901 (2014) (discussing "gaps" between the enactment and enforcement of legislation).
  3. ^ Amalia D. Kessler, Enforcing Virtue: Social Norms and Self-Interest in an Eighteenth-Century Merchant Court, 22 L. & Hist. Rev. 71 (2011).
  4. ^ John T. Scholz, Voluntary Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement, 6 L. & Pol'y 385-88 (1984); see also Margaret H. Lemos, State Enforcement of Federal Law, 86 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 698, 701 (2011) ("The public interest promoted by state enforcement is the interest of the state and its citizens, while federal enforcement purports to serve the broader national interest.").
  5. ^ Margaret H. Lemos and Max Minzner, For-Profit Public Enforcement, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 853, 886 (2014).
  6. ^ Zachary D. Clopton, Redundant Public-Private Enforcement, 69 Vand. L. Rev. 285, 288 (2016); Michael Selmi, Public vs. Private Enforcement of Civil Rights: The Case of Housing and Employment, 45 UCLA L. Rev. 1401, 1456 (1998).
  7. ^ See Scott A. Anderson, The Enforcement Approach to Coercion, 5 J. of Ethics &Soc. Phil. 1 (2010).
  8. ^ Kate Andrias, The President's Enforcement Power Archived 2016-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, 88 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1031, 1040 (2013) (comparing "enforcement" with "rulemaking").
  9. ^ Kurt T. Lash, The Sum of All Delegated Power: A Response to Richard Primus, The Limits of Enumeration, 124 Yale L. J. F. 180, 184 (2014) (discussing enforcement powers in federalist systems of government); John F. Manning, The Means of Constitutional Power, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 1, 44 (2014) (citing specific examples of delegation of enforcement powers to agencies in the United States); Kate Andrias, The President's Enforcement Power Archived 2016-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, 88 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1031, 1040 (2013) (noting that enforcement powers can be delegated to "private parties").
  10. ^ Robert F. Durant, The Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy 379 (2010) (discussing agencies' "compliance and enforcement" powers).
  11. ^ Compare, e.g., Peter H. Aranson, Ernest Gellhorn, and Glen O. Robinson, Theory of Legislative Delegation, 68 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (1982) with Gillian E. Metzger, The Constitutional Duty To Supervise, 124 Yale L. J. 124 (2015).
  12. ^ Yeboah-Assiamah, Emmanuel; Muller, Kobus; Domfeh, Kwame Ameyaw (1 January 2017). "Institutional assessment in natural resource governance: A conceptual overview". Forest Policy and Economics. 74: 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2016.10.006. ISSN 1389-9341.
  13. ^ Dhanshyam, M.; Srivastava, Samir K. (May 2021). "Effective policy mix for plastic waste mitigation in India using System Dynamics". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 168: 105455. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105455. ISSN 0921-3449. S2CID 233569368.
  14. ^ Börner, J.; Wunder, S.; Wertz-Kanounnikoff, S.; Hyman, G.; Nascimento, N. (1 November 2014). "Forest law enforcement in the Brazilian Amazon: Costs and income effects". Global Environmental Change. 29: 294–305. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.04.021. ISSN 0959-3780.
  15. ^ "Most international treaties are ineffective, Canadian study finds". CTVNews. 3 August 2022. Archived from the original on 15 September 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  16. ^ Hoffman, Steven J.; Baral, Prativa; Rogers Van Katwyk, Susan; Sritharan, Lathika; Hughsam, Matthew; Randhawa, Harkanwal; Lin, Gigi; Campbell, Sophie; Campus, Brooke; Dantas, Maria; Foroughian, Neda; Groux, Gaëlle; Gunn, Elliot; Guyatt, Gordon; Habibi, Roojin; Karabit, Mina; Karir, Aneesh; Kruja, Krista; Lavis, John N.; Lee, Olivia; Li, Binxi; Nagi, Ranjana; Naicker, Kiyuri; Røttingen, John-Arne; Sahar, Nicola; Srivastava, Archita; Tejpar, Ali; Tran, Maxwell; Zhang, Yu-qing; Zhou, Qi; Poirier, Mathieu J. P. (9 August 2022). "International treaties have mostly failed to produce their intended effects". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (32): e2122854119. Bibcode:2022PNAS..11922854H. doi:10.1073/pnas.2122854119. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 9372541. PMID 35914153.
  17. ^ Al-Abdulrazzak, Dalal; Galland, Grantly R.; McClenachan, Loren; Hocevar, John (1 December 2017). "Opportunities for improving global marine conservation through multilateral treaties". Marine Policy. 86: 247–252. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2017.09.036. ISSN 0308-597X.
  18. ^ Aliberti, Marco; Krasner, Stephen D. (2016). "Governance in Space". Yearbook on Space Policy 2014: The Governance of Space. Yearbook on Space Policy. Springer: 143–166. doi:10.1007/978-3-7091-1899-3_3. ISBN 978-3-7091-1898-6.
  19. ^ a b c Duff, Johnathan H; Liu, Anicca; Saavedra, Jorge; Batycki, Jacob N; Morancy, Kendra; Stocking, Barbara; Gostin, Lawrence O; Galea, Sandro; Bertozzi, Stefano; Zuniga, Jose M; Alberto-Banatin, Carmencita; Dansua, Akua Sena; del Rio, Carlos; Kulzhanov, Maksut; Lee, Kelley; Scaglia, Gisela; Shahpar, Cyrus; Ullmann, Andrew J; Hoffman, Steven J; Weinstein, Michael; Szapocznik, José (1 June 2021). "A global public health convention for the 21st century". The Lancet Public Health. 6 (6): e428–e433. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00070-0. ISSN 2468-2667. PMC 8099565. PMID 33964227.
  20. ^ a b Stubenrauch, Jessica; Garske, Beatrice; Ekardt, Felix; Hagemann, Katharina (January 2022). "European Forest Governance: Status Quo and Optimising Options with Regard to the Paris Climate Target". Sustainability. 14 (7): 4365. doi:10.3390/su14074365. ISSN 2071-1050.
  21. ^ King, Lewis C.; van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. (17 April 2021). "Potential carbon leakage under the Paris Agreement". Climatic Change. 165 (3): 52. Bibcode:2021ClCh..165...52K. doi:10.1007/s10584-021-03082-4. hdl:1871.1/63469f15-e0ce-4899-9b7b-b95b3fe88177. ISSN 1573-1480. S2CID 233279743.
  22. ^ See Kenneth Culp Davis, Dialogue on Police Rulemaking: Police Rulemaking on Selective Enforcement: A Reply, 125 U. Penn. L. Rev. 1167 (1977).
  23. ^ Joseph H. Tieger, Police Discretion and Discriminatory Enforcement, 1971 Duke L. J. 717, 743 (1971) ("The exigencies of police work are such that even the most elaborate set of statutory or regulatory directives could not succeed in removing all occasion for the exercise of judgment.").
  24. ^ Margaret H. Lemos and Alex Stein, Strategic Enforcement, 95 Minn. L. Rev. 9, 9-10 (2010).