Darren has published widely on environmental regulation and governance, and on occupational health and safety regulation in the mining industry. His major research contributions are:
1. Regulatory pluralism in an environmental context, in particular, ‘smart regulation’ and instrument choice. He co-authored (with Gunnigham and Grabosky) the international book Smart regulation: Designing environmental policy.
2. ‘Next generation’ environmental regulation, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises and diffuse sources of pollution, such as agriculture. He co-authored (with Gunnigham) the international book Leaders and laggards: Next generation environmental regulation.
3. Regulatory of occupational health and safety in Australian mining. He co-authored (with Gunningham) the book Managing mining hazards: Regulation, safety and trust.
4. Regulation and governance of non-urban water use in the Murray Darling Basin, the United States, Spain and France. In particular, compliance and enforcement, and the relationships between markets, compliance, technology and participatory governance. He has co-edited and co-authored (both with Holley) two international books, Reforming water law and governance: From stagnation to innovation in Australia and Intelligent regulation: Water markets, compliance and technology.
He has been a consultant to government and industry, and produced many policy reports.
He represented Australia at the United Nations International Framework Convention on Climate Change (Geneva 1993 and 1994); and he co-designed the self-regulatory and trading scheme to phase out the use of ozone-depleting gases under Australia’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol.
His research interest is on the regulation and governance of mercury emissions under the Minamata Convention.