This chapter induces from data on nursing home regulation the beginnings of a theory of a reliability paradox. It shows that how pursuit of reliability for a part of the law can increase the unreliability of a whole body of law. The sociolegal literature on rules versus standards is itself paradoxical. On the one hand, there is a literature claiming to show that American law is more standards-oriented, British law more oriented to rules. The chapter argues that both Australian nursing-home law and Australian nursing-home regulatory practice are less formal than in the USA, which may express a higher degree of trust among the legislature, the executive, the industry and advocacy groups — tripartite consensus building. The same argument against the proliferation of standards can be extended to the proliferation of protocols for rating standards. The misplaced faith of the legislator for narrowing broad discretion results in the enactment of more specific laws.