Australia's regulation impact statements - Helping or hindering Accountable representative democracy?

Mark Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary purpose of this paper is to critically examine the Australian experience with respect to Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) regarding taxation legislation. The first objective of this critical appraisal is to describe the contemporary Australian elaboration of accountable, representative democratic government which is reflected in taxation regulation impact assessment. The second objective is to demonstrate that the current iteration of the process of taxation regulatory impact analysis reflects a particular, contingent model of ‘democratic’ government which is neither conducive to meaningful democratic accountability nor consistent with sound policy making. The third objective is to identify mechanisms for overcoming this pathology at the core of the Australian tax legislative process. I will argue that this pathology might be remedied by adopting an alternative role for regulatory impact analysis, one which is framed in terms of meaningfully promoting broad, ongoing public accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalAustralasian Tax Teachers Association. Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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