'Labour law, institutionalist regulation and the employing organisation'
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Labour law as an academic sub-discipline has been changing in response to developments in the labour market and work relationships. Especially in Australia, labour law scholarship has increasingly adopted a perspective of law as socially constitutive regulation. This approach draws on the multidisciplinary field of ‘new’ regulation studies. The adoption of a regulatory approach to law represents a significant departure in legal scholarship, since the idea of regulation requires consideration of the social environment and impact of law, and these dimensions have not been a particular concern of traditional legal research.
This paper examines new regulation theory and its application to the field of labour law. While some aspects of regulation studies have been adopted in recent Australian labour law scholarship, the wider potential involved in a regulation perspective, in particular a pluralist approach to regulation which sees law as embedded within and imbued by social institutions, has not yet been realised. The paper explores how such a regulatory approach to labour law can be expanded by a focus on the regulation of employment relations within employing organisations.