Wim Voermans gives workshops and lectures on regulations in Brasilia
From 23 September to 1 October Professor Wim Voermans organized workshops, gave lectures and advised on various aspects concerning regulations. This was done in his capacity as a fellow of the Brazilian government think tank IPEA (the government Institute for Applied Economic Research) and as a guest of the Casa Civil (the office of the Brazilian president).
An initial session was held at the Palácio do Planalto (the presidential palace – see photo on the left) on 24 Sepember for the 30 staff members of the Subchefia para Assuntos Jurídicos (the department at the presidential office which is responsible for impact assessment of proposed regulations). Topics included the establishment of and experiences with regulatory impact assessment procedures throughout the world and the way in which impact assessments are carried out in Brazil.
Then from 24 to 28 Sepember a series of workshops was held with representatives from various Brazilian ministries and from the presidential staff, to discuss subjects concerning regulation (quality of regulation, ex ante and ex post evaluation of regulations – including regulatory impact assessment – implementation of regulation, deregulation and simplification of regulation, limitation of administrative burden, cutting red tape, codification and consolidation of rules, digital publication of rules, architecture of legislative processes etc.). The workshops proved very popular with an average of 50 participants at each workshop.
In addition, there were meetings with regulatory agencies currently operating in Brazil which discussed, among other things, the debate on the constitutional position of these agencies. Talks with legal staff of the presidential office dealt with the special challenges of the Brazilian legislative process: much legislation is laid down by the president by means of an emergency procedure via legislative decree. The parliament then subsequently approves (or on rare occasions rejects) these decrees. This special arrangement naturally raises all sorts of (constitutional) questions.
Professor Voerman’s visit was concluded on 30 September with a lecture at the University of Brasilia which was open to the public. The subject ‘Why do People Obey the Law’ clearly appealed to many (prospective)Brazilian lawyers. The lecture – even though it was held in the evening – was well attended.