A certain amount of regulatory framework is sometimes technically needed by the subject to which rules are applied. This is the case in sectors such as telecommunications or banking, sectors so complex that the Law is almost a technical consequence of these subjects. Regulatory systems may also be implemented based on a political will to voluntarily, or out of necessity, abandon a system of state-owned monopolies and attempts to achieve a balance between the way competitive markets operate, and the goals of public service (for example, universal access to health care or to security).
Furthermore, regulatory mechanisms may also confront markets with issues typically beyond their concerns, such as the issue of the environment, by using market mechanisms to meet a general interest objective. The traditional approach to regulation has always been a sector-specific one, since rules and decisions are necessarily tainted by the nature of the concrete subjects to which they are applied. In this sense, Regulatory Law is different and often in opposition to Competition Law—which is more neutral—regarding the subjects’ technical characteristics and social functions. Moreover, a variety of regulatory institutions have been created to fit each and every specific sector, while an important economic and legal literature has flourished, also relentlessly devoted to one specific sector. These characteristics can be found in fields such as transport, telecommunication, media, energy, bank, finance, insurance, health, environment and personal data. Yet, even though some difficulties obviously occur repeatedly and similarly in all types of sectors, the idea of creating a transversal publication was surprisingly never put forth. Indeed, most sectors usually share similar problems when it comes to dealing with regulatory bodies, or when it comes to the relationship between regulatory law and other legal rules constructed on other principles (such as competition law, public law, contract law, torts, procedural law), or to the overlapping between geographical levels of regulation (national, supranational, global), or to the difficult articulation between different sectorial regulatory organisations.
Moreover, within this abundant and lively, yet fundamentally incomplete legal field, many experts on specific sectors appeared, with an important amount of works at their disposal, research or reviews focused on one sector. Therefore, a transversal review was lacking, the type of review that would gather this scattered and sector-specific knowledge and synthesize it in order to provide an overall analysis and perspectives on common issues. Besides, a pre-existing solution in one sector can be of great help to analogously solve issues in other sectors, for instance in regards to information asymmetry, operators’ equality or equal access to the sector –whereas specialisation in one or two sectors does not allow for such transposition of practices. The mere fact that an important amount of valuable expertise is scattered among each specific sectors justifies the creation and implementation of a Journal of Regulation (JR) –the French title would be Revue du Droit de la Régulation, but it is preferable to adopt an English version and the English title has been favoured, since the review’s common language will be English.
The Review is divided in three parts. Its first part gathers doctrinal articles dealing with issues mutual to all sectors (for example, issues regarding information, risk, access, tariffs, neutrality, etc.). Its second part aims at analyzing any important events or changes in each specific sector. Sectors being studied include: transport, telecommunication, medias, energy, bank, finance, health, environment and personal data. The third part will provide a detailed analysis of works published in all relevant fields. Each document referenced (books, articles or grey literature) will be summarized, explained, linked with other sectors, analyzed and criticized.
The Journal of Regulation has two vehicles: its website (http://www.thejournalofregulation.com), where information is constantly being, and it is possible to receive the review’s newsletter for free. The Publisher is MAFR Etudes. The Journal is managed by Professor Marie-Anne Frison-Roche. The Journal’s director and editor is Marie-Anne Frison-Roche. Finally, the Journal organizes public conferences. The first of which was devoted to The role of Supreme Courts in economic cases (25th january 2010).Its works will be published, in English, in the “Droit et Economie” collection (LGDJ).