LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: Government Regulation of Business by Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Legal Counsel, Bahrain

Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Legal Counsel, Bahrain

During past weeks, Governments took many measures to curb the unpleasant visitor “Coronavirus”. Due to such unexpected measures business activities were directly affected. Airports closed, hotels empty, malls inactive, even sports, leisure and entertainment facilities are banned or postponed. Normal daily works and business are somehow inactive. The purpose and intention behind the measures taken by Governments are very genuine and essential to protect people from the bad consequences of “Coronavirus” running blindly behind all in every corner in the world.

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Generally, governments have very broad powers and teeth to bite. They have the power to issue laws for commerce and trading, industry, taxation, education, IT and telecommunications, own and operate businesses and, even, to take private property for public purposes based on the power of eminent domain. Governments, also, have very broad powers to legislate to promote health, safety, security and the general welfare of all citizens. They retain the exhaustive powers to regulate such activities, otherwise, many harmful serious side-effects could emerge.

There are many reasons to be taken in consideration, for the existence of such regulatory powers, particularly the growth of corporate power and the abusive activities of the large entities against consumers, environment and others. Such situations produced a public outcry for the need for a kind of a superior power with authority as Governments. Moreover, life becomes more complex and new forms and types of human activity, presented a need for regulations are arising every day.

All such developments opened the door for the growth and need of government regulation. No doubt, it has produced many positive social benefits, and produced considerable public dissatisfaction, in some instances. There are complaints about government “red tape” and bureaucratic inefficiency. Others complain that, operating a business is becoming more difficult in an environment of increasing and sometimes conflicting regulations. Some regulatory agencies are criticized as being inefficient and overzealous on one hand and “captive” tools of industry on the other hand. By all means, irrespective of any criticism, such regulatory role is a must and needed, it is probably fair to say that regulations are here to stay, as regulation will be an important fact of life, without which our survival will be at great stake. Here we look for careful wise, check and balance, to achieve the best or the most appropriate results for all.