Anthony J. Casey, "The Short Happy Life of Rules and Standards"

The choice between rules and standards in lawmaking is a central question. But the line between the two forms is not as clear as most scholars presume. This talk argues that the lack of a coherent  unifying principle in the rules-and-standards distinction is becoming more evident as technologies behind lawmaking evolve. It will explore the leading accounts of rules and standards, the insights they have provided into the process and meaning of law, and why the distinction may be reaching the end of its useful life. The talk will conclude with thoughts on how we should think about forms of law going forward.

This lecture is in honor of Ronald Coase. Coase, who spent most of his academic career at the University of Chicago Law School, helped create the field of law and economics through groundbreaking scholarship that earned him the 1991 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and through his far-reaching influence as a journal editor.

Anthony J. Casey is Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Teaching Scholar. This Coase Lecture was presented on February 21, 2017.

Participating faculty: 
Anthony J. Casey
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