The legislator makes laws, the justice system enforces them, and the citizen complies – or doesn’t comply – with them. Securing compliance is the subject of these interdisciplinary studies. Each attempts to give us a better understanding of why people comply with the law and what techniques may prove most effective in achieving that goal.
Various studies examine the regulation of prostitution in Canada, the regulation of securities by securities commissions and stock exchanges, compliance with tax laws, prevention of traffic accidents, the use of administrative penalties as compared with criminal prosecutions, regulation of pollution control, and the issues of family violence.
Together the studies raise two important questions. Are we now relying too heavily on criminal prosecution in many areas? And would society’s objectives be better served through less punitive means? Alternatives include the use of rewards and administrative penalties, control by licensing and limiting exposure to and controlling opportunities for wrongdoing.