Counter-intuitive law considered
In visual art and in poems there is a lot to be interpreted. As the law sometimes has traits of artistry - and then it is primarily about literary qualities -, I want to focus on a form of regulation that really needs some interpretation. This is what I call: counter-intuitive law.
The optimal compliance with regulations by its addressees is voluntary compliance. Voluntary compliance can at least minimize enforcement costs and maximize the yield sought by the legislator. In general, it is therefore advisable for the legislator to organize the rules in such a way that the addressees will agree with them and comply with the rules without appreciable resistance. This is an essential condition, particularly with open standards and goal-based regulation. Not in all cases, voluntary compliance is feasible. For example, for good reasons tax legislation is laid down as prescriptive regulation, and is not cast in the mould of goal-based regulation. After all, this kind of rules depend for their effectiveness mainly on enforcement (supervision and fiscal criminal law) and not primarily on voluntary compliance.
If regulation is situated on a spectrum as to willingness to comply, then on the one extreme end the voluntary standards will be found, in the middle (for example) the fiscal norms and on the other end of the spectrum counter-intuitive law. In counter-intuitive law (hereinafter: CIL), these are norms in which the addressees recognize so little that compliance not only does not take place on a voluntary basis, but also giving the enforcers the greatest possible difficulties in moving the addressees in the right direction. For several - practical and principle - reasons this is an undesirable situation.
The essence of this essay is: what are the options for the legislator to avoid or reduce CIL?