Influence of economics in law making poses ‘significant challenges’ to profession

28 Nov, 2012

The expanding influence of economic analysis within the legal profession raises potentially transformative challenges for both decision makers and society in general, according to award winning research carried out by UCL Reader in Competition Law and Economics, Dr Ioannis Lianos (pictured).


Dr Lianos’ work, recently awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize, investigates the increasing role played by economics in lawmaking, epistemological conflicts between the two disciplines and possible foundations for establishing a platform capable ofmaintaining a more equitable dialogue in the future.


Dr Lianos, who is also Director of the UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society, explores the differing standards of validity demanded in regulatory economics when compared to academic economics as well as investigating the effect of the increased professionalization of economics on its relationship with the law making process.


Dr Lianos said: “The ‘dismal science’ of economics has never been more present in law design and enforcement than in recent decades. Economic evidence on the possible impact of regulatory and legislative texts is now frequently required prior to implementation and we are seeing it playing a role in ever more diverse areas of the law.


“ However, this process transforms legal practice, as lawyers are increasingly required to work with economists in order to build effective legal arguments, theories and frameworks. Issues occur because economics used within a legal framework has different characteristics when compared with its use in an academic context where it can often be highly abstract and epistemologically contested.


“More needs to be done in order to preserve the pluralism of economic thought and the cognitive openness and critical awareness of the law to recent evolutions in economic thought. It is important that we look to provide the foundations for a more equal and dialectical interaction between the economics and the law. “

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