Can self-regulation be made to work?

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The Independent Online
rom Mr R. M. C. Arnot

Sir: Recent events have highlighted the defects of self-regulation in business and in public life. However, no publicity appears to have been given to the fact that self-regulation is a manifest breach of the legal maxim Nemo judex in caura sua, a cardinal principle of natural justice providing that "no person should be the judge of his own cause". This is a fundamental issue which should inform the deliberations of the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life.

In as much as many self-regulatory provisions have statutory force, their validity cannot be challenged by the courts. A remedy would be an Act to abolish all self-regulatory bodies, to prevent such being established, and to enable any regulations made by them to be reviewed by a court of law.

Yours faithfully,


Welwyn Garden City,


18 March