Notice & Comment

Pacific Legal Foundation Call for Papers: Should Agency Adjudication Be Ended?

From the Pacific Legal Foundation’s website:

Pacific Legal Foundation’s Center for the Separation of Powers seeks papers for a research roundtable on ending agency adjudication of private rights to be held near the end of October in Arlington, Virginia.

Today, both federal and state agencies with the power to issue substantive regulations, investigate potential violations, and institute enforcement actions often also have the power to adjudicate disputes between private parties and the government (and even in some cases between private parties). The hearing officers who decide these disputes are often themselves agency employees. Many are picked based on their scores on a general civil service exam, rather than on agency-specific expertise. Agencies thus act as lawmaker, prosecutor, judge, jury, and appellate judges.

We seek papers that address ending coercive agency adjudication from numerous perspectives, including empirical and nonempirical approaches.

Research Proposal Submission Details

Please submit a brief research proposal that describes your thesis or research question(s) and intended methodology and how your research will contribute to the discussion of whether coercive agency adjudication should be ended.

Proposals should be submitted by July 1 to Alison Somin at Early proposal submission is encouraged, as proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and approvals will allow authors to begin work early. Submissions after July 1 may be accepted if space at the roundtable and budget permit.

Honorarium and Other Support

Authors of accepted papers will receive a $2,500 honorarium. Authors will benefit from robust feedback on their research. Papers will be published as a working paper on the PLF website.

Research Roundtable

Authors will present their papers at the research roundtable which will be held near the end of October. Completed paper drafts are due 10 days before the date of the research roundtable but need not be in polished or publishable form. Each paper author will be expected to formally comment on others’ papers. We will cover the cost of hotel accommodation and reasonable travel expenses to the roundtable.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the call for papers, please contact Alison Somin at

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