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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

NVCL 2018-19: Regulatory Enforcement of Principles-Based Financial Regulation: the (Un)anticipated Effects of Broad Standards

2 November 2018

Time: 4:30 - 8:00pm
Venue: Centre for Commercial Law Studies. 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB

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The Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London is pleased to announce the details of our annual seminar series ‘New Voices in Commercial Law’ (NVCL).

Now in its sixth year, the series aims to provide a forum for debate and an opportunity for attendees to hear early career academics with outstanding potential discuss their research in an intellectually stimulating environment.

The seminars are part of the academic programme of events of the UNIDROIT-QMUL Institute of Transnational Commercial Lawand they are convened by Dr Andromachi Georgosouli. Draft papers are circulated electronically in advance of each event to registered participants.

CCLS attendance certificates available on request. For more information email the CCLS Events Team on

Regulatory Enforcement of Principles-Based Financial Regulation: the (Un)anticipated Effects of Broad Standards 

Speaker: Aleksandra Jordanoska (Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London)

Paper Abstract

Much research discusses the optimal design of regulatory regimes in terms of choosing the appropriate level of rules indeterminacy. The debate revolves primarily around arguments about whether specific and detailed rules or broader and abstract standard-level principles contribute to a more efficient regulatory design, both in terms of costs to business in complying with regulation and the costs to regulators for achieving compliance. Less attention has been devoted to analysing the effects of principles-based regulation upon enforcement work, and the control of misconduct in financial markets. 

This paper engages with broader questions of how the facets of a principles-based regulatory regime affect the enforcement process in the UK financial markets: what aspects of principles-based regulation underpin the nature of the enforcement regime? What are its effects upon the processing of misconduct? These issues are examined in the context of the enforcement practices of the conduct of business regulator, the powerful Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), whose regime is based on eleven standard-level principles. Empirically, the research combines qualitative and quantitative data from the coding of FCA enforcement decisions (2009-2017) and enforcement officials’ speeches, and from semi-structured interviews (FCA staff; regulatory lawyers and compliance officers). 

The paper analyses the development of principles-based regulatory enforcement in the post-crisis period and the (un)anticipated effects of enforcing broad standards in the UK financial markets in practice. The reliance on principles-based regulatory enforcement appears to be an effective enforcement tool in some respects, especially in the context of the complexity of finance, but it also causes challenges for regulators and regulatees alike. The paper examines the implications of the choice of a regulatory design (rules vs standards) upon regulatory enforcement in the financial markets, highlighting the ways in which principles-based regulation can contribute or detract from achieving enforcement outcomes. 

About the author

Dr Aleksandra Jordanoska is Lecturer at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. Her research broadly engages with modes of governance in financial markets, the regulation of financial technologies, regulation theory, and financial crime. Aleksandra has been Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Law & Society, University of California, Berkeley; RegNet, Australian National University; HEUNI, Helsinki and at the International Institute for Sociology of Law, Onati. She is the co-chair of the Collaborative Research Network in Regulatory Governance of the American Law and Society Association. 


Registration: 16.30 - 17.00

Session: From 17.00


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.

Please select the seminar(s) you wish you attend.


For more information, please contact the CCLS Events Team on

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