LGST 551
Introduction to Legislative Drafting (OCW)


LGST 551
Introduction to Legislative Drafting (OCW)

Study Materials

Module 1: Section 2

Section Preview

What is Legislation?

This Section looks at

  • the basic types and characteristics of legislation,
  • the terms that are used to describe different kinds of legislative texts and their typical components, and
  • the structure of primary legislation (usually known as Acts or statutes) and the texts used to enact them (Bills).

Particular features of subsidiary legislation and differences in the terminology used for it are considered in LGST 557, Module 1.

Section Objectives

By the end of this Section, you should be able to describe the following in relation to your jurisdiction:

  • the various types of legislative texts and the terms used to describe them;
  • the conventional features and components of primary legislation (Bills and Acts);
  • the conventions relating to the structure of Bills and Acts.

In particular, you should be able to use the appropriate technical terms to describe the characteristic features of primary legislation and Bills.

The Essential Questions

This Section is divided into four subsections organised in terms of a series of questions:

  1. Types of legislation
    • What is legislation?
    • Which bodies have power to make primary legislation?
    • What forms does primary legislation take?
    • Which bodies have power to make subsidiary legislation?
    • What forms does subsidiary legislation take?
  2. Classification of primary legislation (bill and acts)
  3. Structure and format of bills and acts
    • What features appear in Acts?
    • What features appear only in Bills?
  4. Conventional arrangement of bills and acts

Studying this Section

Much of this Section deals with matters you may have come across in your earlier legal studies and practice of law. Remember, however, that here you are being asked to look at these matters from the standpoint of legislative counsel. You need to confirm your knowledge of the topics discussed and in particular the extent to which the practice in your jurisdiction mirrors or differs from that described in this Section.

This Section contains a number of activities designed to allow you to look at local practice. You should pay particular attention to Activities 6 and 7, which are concerned with the terminology used to describe particular features of an Act. Many lawyers are not conversant with all these features. Take time to study the specimen Act (Second-hand Dealers Act) provided for this purpose in order to ascertain the particular parts identified in this Section. You will be asked to use this Act again in a later Module.

The Section is quite short and relatively straight-forward. You should be able to complete it quickly, but you should give extra time to aspects that are new to you.