Linked inTwitter

Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published later in 2023. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site in the coming months. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter in early 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

What's Changing? - Law



Please see below selected recent legal, in particular regulation-related change. 


See also:


March 2023

  • According to a World Bank report, only 14 countries currently offer full, legal protections to women. The US ranked below Peru and Albania due to a lack of guaranteeing equal pay and mandates on parental leave.


December 2022


September 2022

  • Indigenous landowners from Australia’s Tiwi Islands secured a major legal victory when a federal court halted a $3.6 billion natural gas development project led by the energy company Santos. 
  • After a trial that lasted more than 15 years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, a court in Cambodia managed to convict just 3 people in connection with the large-scale massacres that the Khmer Rouge regime carried out in the 1970s.


August 2021


October 2020


September 2020


January 2020

  • Future Today Institute noted that technology is now moving faster than any government’s ability to legislate it. As a result, countries around the world are learning the hard way what happens when old laws clash with new technology. In 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr asked Apple to unlock the iPhone of the killer at the deadly shooting at the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida—a move that pits personal privacy against public safety. Also related to privacy: one lawsuit that claims that Alexa’s listening violates children’s privacy, and doctors and healthcare companies prepare for legal battles, as genomic testing surges. Robots bring up equally thorny questions. For instance, a robot went awry and crushed a man in a German Volkswagen plant, and an Uber autonomous vehicle killed a woman in Arizona last year. The devastating stories beg the question: who is responsible if robots kill


December 2019


November 2019


October 2019


September 2019


July 2019


June 2019


January 2019

  • Governments around the world executed 993 prisoners in 2017, according to Amnesty International. The tally doesn’t include China, thought to be the world’s top executioner, which keeps the frequency of its use of capital punishment a closely guarded secret.


December 2018


October 2018


September 2018

  • The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 marked the beginning of the escalation of the global financial crisis. Since then, global regulation of the financial sector and the associated compliance processes within financial institutions have tried to adapt to prevent and mitigate future crises. The effect of this additional regulation has proven costly for the global banking system. A new Chatham House debate discussed the short, medium and long-term impacts of shifting global regulation patterns, asking whether there are there substantive signs of a new trend towards global prudential regulation. 
  • Should internet platforms be regulated like publishing companies? Like public utilities? Or should they be broken up, asked GZEROMedia? Those are just a few of the ideas for tightening government control over the tech sector and it believes that fhe drumbeat in favour of increased regulation is growing stronger. Recent headlines out of MyanmarLibya, and China have shown that the challenges facing tech giants go beyond foreign meddling in US elections, and touch on broader questions of how to make a powerful, virtual public square created by private sector tech companies safe for people around the world.
  • Singularity Hub warned that the breakneck speed of digital transformation leaves the public and governments behind so quickly that they often never catch up before the next iteration takes hold. The result is unbridled advances in technology that have dazzled the world, bringing benefits but simultaneously trampling some business models, neglecting to always consider what’s best for consumers, and even affecting the outcomes of elections. And it isn’t just the speed of digital technologies that makes them difficult to regulate. A further complication is that the technologies and platforms are global and at the same time governed by many jurisdictions and polities.


August 2018


July 2018

  • Technology regulation must come from companies, not governments, argued Quartz, believing that private third-party supervisors are more effective than slow bureaucracies.
  • Territorial data regulations are diverging with more governments requiring local storage of data. The number of nations implementing these intra fauces terra has tripled since 2016 to 84. Some estimates suggest it might reduce national GDP by 3.4%.
  • The Network and Information System Directive (NIS) was approved by the European Union in August 2016 and, after the new legislation was ratified in the Houses of Parliament in April 2018, it became enforceable in May this year in 21 EU member states.


June 2018

  • GDPR will kill the innovation economy, warned Quartz, arguing that users are more keen to accept new privacy agreements from behemoths like Facebook than smaller companies, which could force more humble startups into extinction.
  • EU member states are implementing local GDPR laws differently, warned the Future Today Institute, posing a daunting challenge for any organisation hoping to do business worldwide.
  • The GDPR's “Right to Be Forgotten" rule would allow a disgruntled EU citizen to request that Google remove stories and websites from search, and it could have a profound effect on the dissemination of newsworthy information. To date, Google says its received requests to remove 2.43 million URLs since the initial right to be forgotten laws went into effect.


May 2018

  • The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation took effect on May 25th and imposes tough new rules on companies that traffic in the personal data of EU citizens. Firms that fail to protect users’ information will face steep fines of up to 4 percent of their global sales.


April 2018

  • Exponential View identified a lively debate about how to update economic regulation to guard against tax non-compliance and exploitative use while harnessing all the benefits, enabling people to earn money from under-used assets and giving users a wide choice at lower prices. 
  • European lawmakers are exploring the issue of whether to grant robots “electronic personalities”. More than 150 AI experts, including law professors, CEOs and computer scientists have warned against it.
  • According to GZEROMedia, the EU’s rigorous privacy laws limit companies’ ability to send Europeans’ data across borders. Back in the US, meanwhile, if you’re not a citizen, authorities can ask you not only for your passport, but for your social media passwords as well. This trend of regulatory fragmentation will accelerate as world leaders start to grapple more seriously with the ethical and economic challenges of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. We are a long way from the 1990s vision of the internet as a public good that promised a post-national future. Where, exactly, we are going isn’t fully clear yet. But national governments will have a lot to say about it, asks GZEROMedia.






  • The EU Audit Regulation Directive (ARD) represents a great opportunity to raise the status of audit and restore confidence in the discipline - providing the profession "gets it right". That was one of the messages to emerge from the Financial Reporting Council's recent panel discussion on 'Enhancing justifiable confidence in audit through implementation of the EU Audit Regulation and Directive' about its ramifications for the industry and wider business community. Panellist Hywel Ball, EY's UK head of audit, said that while the opportunity for positive change was clearly there, the profession was "on a tipping point" thanks to a "perfect storm" of innovation, big data, concerns over corporate cyber attacks such as that which affected Talk Talk, and the fact that "corporate reporting is becoming less relevant".
  • Deloitte announced the launch of its financial services focused Asia Pacific Centre for Regulatory Strategy. Deloitte said the centre will, “promote regular dialogue with the industry and regulators, and deliver critical insights on managing the aggregate impact of regional and international regulatory policy”. Lead partner, Kevin Nixon said, "For Deloitte it will significantly strengthen the firm’s capability to provide clients in the Asia Pacific with the necessary forward looking advice on successfully managing complex regulatory change". The centre’s regional team also includes Tony Wood (FSI Risk & Regulatory Leader, Deloitte China and Hong Kong), Tsuyoshi Oyama (Centre for Risk Management Strategy Leader, Deloitte Japan) and Tse Gan Thio (Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia). To mark the launch, Deloitte also released a supporting thought leadership piece - ‘Regulatory reform: The Asia Pacific state of play’.
  • CEOs are urging governments across the world to tackle the burden of regulation and renew their focus on achieving fiscal balance, according to PwC’s 18th Annual CEO Survey. It found that over regulation remained the top of perceived threat to business. Scott McIntyre, PwC’s co-leader of government  and public services, said: "Affordable government has become more important than ever, particularly in light of recurrent budget cuts to reduce fiscal deficits in many countries."