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34 McGill Law Journal 39 (1989)


English and American courts treat industry self-regulation very differently. American courts have been generally slow to acknowledge the legitimacy of self-regulation. Once they accept the need for some degree of self-regulation, however, the American courts, under the growing influence of the Chicago school, have become increasingly willing to uphold the regulation on the grounds of economic efficiency. The English courts have had less difficulty recognizing the legitimate role industry self-regulation plays. In determining the reasonableness of the regulatory scheme, however, the English courts adopt a protectionist approach which favours the status quo within the industry. These distinctions, the author argues, reflect fundamentally different attitudes towards both the concept of private rule and the role of the courts in the economic affairs of the country.