(Never)mind the Evidence: Evidence-Based Law-Making in Croatian Regulation on Migration

  • Goranka Lalić Novak PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Teo Giljević PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Romea Manojlović Toman PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Keywords: Croatia, evidence-based law-making, evidence-based policy-making, migration regulation


The aim of the paper is to analyse the extent to which the recent Croatian regulation on migration (legislation and policy documents) is grounded on evidence and builds on empirical data drawn from the processes and draft legislation, public consultations, impact assessment, parliamentary discussions, parliamentary
questions of members of Parliament, and evaluation reports. In this way, the paper also provides a deeper insight into the development of migration regulation, from agenda-setting to the adoption of regulation. Research has enabled the authors to discuss the possibilities to improve migration law-making by means of
evidence-based law-making techniques and other better regulation instruments. Several conclusions have been made: that evidence-based law-making is useful in complex issues such as migration; that evidence should be primarily used in the legislative process at the EU level in the areas that fall under the EU
competences; that evidence is most beneficial in the early, preparatory phases of law-making; that it is necessary to connect the assessment of the relevance and adequacy of empirical data used and their linkage to the effectiveness of migration legislation. The use of better regulation instruments in developing migration regulation might contribute to more transparency and accountability, as well as to the reduction of arbitrary use of power by public authorities, and thus foster the standards and principles of the rule of law.