Friday, August 19, 2016

Behavioural Science in Law & Policy: Evidence, Ethics, & Expertise

Behavioural Science in Law & Policy:

Evidence, Ethics, & Expertise 

Organisers: Professor Muireann Quigley (Law, Innovation, and Society Research Group, Newcastle Law School) and Professor Liam Delaney (Behavioural Sciences Centre, Stirling Management School) 

Date: Friday, 23rd September 2016
Venue: Conference Room, Newcastle law School, Newcastle University

Behavioural economics, and behavioural science more generally, has become an increasingly salient aspect of modern policy debates. Governments throughout the world have begun to explicitly incorporate this literature across a wide range of policy domains. The potential for this literature to improve policy through evidence-based trials has been widely discussed. Furthermore, the implications of behavioural economics for regulation is now on the agenda of many leading regulatory agencies. The increasing traction within policy circles of behavioural approaches to law and policy is evident through the creation of specialist units across the globe; e.g. the United Kingdom’s Behavioural Insights Team, the Social and Behavioural Sciences Team in the United States, and the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government. Within the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre offers support to Commission services wanting to conduct behavioural studies. Despite the current enthusiasm amongst governments and policy-makers for behavioural approaches, there are potential problems with the use of the behavioural sciences to formulate public policy, many of which remain underexplored. The aim of this workshop is to bring together papers from a range of different disciplinary, regulatory, and practical perspectives to examine these. 

Provisional Schedule 

08:45 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:15 Welcome

09:15 – 11:00 Session 1 – Matters of Principle & Practice: Ethics & the Behavioural Sciences

Dr Christian Schubert (Max Planck Institute of Economics) - Nudging, Integrity and Welfare.

Dr Magdelena Malecka & Dr Robert Lepenies (EUI) - Nudges, Law & Politics - beyond the individualist perspective.

Dr. Leonhard Lades (University of Stirling) – Nudges, Well-Being and Welfare.

Commentator: Prof. Liam Delaney (University of Stirling)

11:00-11:15 Coffee

11:15-13:00 Session 2 The Regulatory State in the Behavioural Era

Dr Fabiana Di Porto (University of Salento) & Dr Nicoletta Rangone (LUMSA University) - A Behavioural Approach to Consumer Empowerment Regulation: Applications in Gambling.

Katy King & Elisabeth Costa (Behavioural Insights Team) - Applying Behavioural Insights to Regulated Markets.

Professor James Davey (Southampton Law School) - "Behavioural Economics and Commercial Law".

Commentator: Professor Colin Scott (University College Dublin)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:45 Session 3 - Translating Behavioural Science into Law & Policy: Problems, Pitfalls, & Solutions

Kathryn McKay (University of Birmingham) & Prof. Muireann Quigley (Newcastle University) - Exacerbating Inequalities? Health Policy & the Behavioural Sciences.

Dr Nicky Priaulx & Dr Martin Weinel (Cardiff University) - (Mis)understanding behaviour: Law, science and expertise'.

Prof. Peter John (University College London) – How Far to Nudge?.

Commentator Dr. Michael Daly (University of Stirling).

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee

16:00-17:00 Roundtable

18:30 Speakers’ Dinner

Please email the workshop organisers Prof Muireann Quigley ( and Prof Liam Delaney ( if you have any queries. If you wish to register as a delegate for the event, you can do so at the following registration page. Registration is free but numbers are limited by space. The workshop is sponsored by Newcastle University Law School and Stirling University Management School. 

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