The crisis of confidence in legislation: an overview

Confidence in legislation is one of the most relevant current institutional challenges for developed countries. While trust is considered a relational, social, institutional and economic value, confidence has been defined as evidence-based trust, meaning that it represents a value but also a character of the “risk society”. Confidence in legislation is suffering a crisis: legislative inflation comes hand in hand with regulatory failures, non compliance, difficulties in enforcement, high rates of judicial litigation, opportunities for corruption. This crisis impacts directly on institutional credibility and citizens' compliance; it requires more efficient controls; it produces higher transaction costs. In order to adequately respond to this crisis, Parliaments and Governments need not only effective tools (such as impact analysis, ex post evaluation, behavioural insights, etc.), but also comprehensive policies to strengthen good quality legislation and its enforcement.