Regulatory Investigations: Regulators, Regulatees and the Public Interest

J Law Med. 2022 Dec;29(4):1026-1039.


The potential for adverse consequences of investigations by a regulatory authority into complaints made against a person whom it regulates raises important questions about how regulators or similar bodies are, or should be, held accountable for their actions. This article examines the legal duties or other obligations that a regulator of health practitioners owes to people it regulates as well as to those who make complaints or submit notifications and to the public at large. It raises the general question of what duties or obligations any regulator or similar body with investigatory or coercive powers owes to persons arising out of its investigations. It finds that although they do not have a legal duty of care to a regulatee to protect them from harm, there may be other reasons why a regulator may want to consider the welfare of those whom it regulates as well as other affected parties.

Keywords: duty of care; medical regulation; public interest; regulatory investigations; trauma-informed investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Medical*
  • Social Responsibility*