Quality of Legislation

The quality of legislation is crucial for the functioning of the legal system and of society. This quality has different aspects. First, the instrumental quality: does the law reach its goal, does it do this in the most efficient way, does it have undesirable side effects? Second, the legal quality: is it in conformity with higher law, international and supranational law and unwritten legal principles? Third, the technical quality: this relates to the accessibility, systematic logic and practicability in legal practice. In this project, both theoretical and applied research is conducted into all three aspects. Alternatives to legislation, such as self-regulation, are considered in this context as well. The project covers national law, regulations of local governments and the implementation of European law.

In the subproject ‘quality of tax law’, special attention is paid to the quality of tax law. The question of this subproject is: how can the quality of tax law be improved? This is important to the Dutch climate for establishing businesses (legal certainty for potential investors). Besides the relationship with European law, special attention is paid to the role of tax treaties in the legislative process. Tax treaties are an important element of the climate for establishing businesses, and it is important that the tax laws adequately take into account the implications of such treaties. The actors in the legislative process (including the Council of State, which also is a subject of this research more generally) do this insufficiently.


The initiator of the focus group Quality of Legislation is Sjoerd Zijlstra (VU University Amsterdam).