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Rule of Guidance?

Date: 22nd July 2024

Time: 14:15 - 17:15 Followed by a reception - Registration from 13.45.

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

Event Details

Four years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, policy makers, civil society and academia are still grappling with the challenges the world faced during that time. One phenomenon which was thrown into sharp relief is the use of non-binding instruments by the UK government to regulate several aspects of life in society. Especially in the first year or so, UK government guidance sometimes failed to make sufficiently clear what was the law and what was public health advice, resulting in individuals being wrongly issued with fixed penalty notices for lawful behaviours.

This workshop will use the COVID-19 pandemic regulatory experience as a starting point to explore more generally the use and legitimacy of guidance (and other soft law instruments) in UK domestic administrative law. Under what conditions is it legitimate to use non-binding regulatory tools instead of legislation? What is the practical impact of guidance for different groups in society? And what are the risks associated with regulating through guidance rather than hard legal rules?


  • Dr Paolo Sandro, Lecturer in Law,  University of Leeds


  • Dr Himani Bhakuni, Lecturer in Law, University of York
  • Jamie Burton KC, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Professor John Drury, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Sussex
  • Tasneem Ghazi, PhD student at UCL Laws
  • Professor Jeff King, Professor of Law, UCL & Research Director, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law
  • Katie Lines, Research Leader, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Event convened by Professor Jeff King, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Katie Lines, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and Dr Paolo Sandro, University of Leeds.

Pricing and Registration

This in person event is free to attend but pre-registration is required. 

Book via BIICL

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 3.5 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Event Recording

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