LGST 553
Legislative Structure, Style and Limits (OCW)


LGST 553
Legislative Structure, Style and Limits (OCW)

Course Information

Legislative Structure, Style and Limits

How Does the Course Work?

Legal Studies 553 puts considerable emphasis on doing tasks that confirm and extend your understanding of the subject and that contribute to legislative writing capabilities. This feature is found throughout the course modules. The sequence of materials is designed to reinforce and build on what you have learned in earlier parts of the course. Bear this in mind when you are assessing your own progress.

In Legal Studies 553, you are expected to do the following:

  • work through the study materials
  • undertake specified activities
  • undertake specific exercises

Study Materials

These materials take you through the study topics, drawing out the legal considerations that are important to the drafter, and emphasizing the drafting implications of the particular matter under study. From time to time, you will be asked to consider other materials and legislative precedents in support of the study materials. These additional materials are found in the Resource Materials.

The course provides numerous illustrations of the points under consideration. These are set out in example boxes.

Example Box 1

  1. 25. A citizen of Utopia employed in the service of the Republic who, when acting or purporting to act in the course of that employment outside Utopia, does an act which would constitute an offence if done within Utopia, commits that offence.

Note the distinctive shading for quoted examples of legislative text.

The example boxes merit close attention. Be sure that you understand how the example confirms the practice described in the study materials.


The activities enable you to follow up on points in the study materials and in the source materials, either by finding out local practice on the topic under consideration, or by collecting local statutory precedents that illustrate that practice. Be sure to retain your notes for future reference.

The activities are set at intervals throughout each module. They appear in plain activity boxes that contain instructions.

Activity 1

If your Interpretation Act has an equivalent definition of “person,” confirm its contents by copying it in your Learning Blog.


The exercises are placed at regular intervals throughout the study materials. The exercises are short and do not involve extensive work, but they do provide an opportunity for you to determine whether you have thoroughly understood the topic under consideration. As such, the exercises are well worth completing.

Prompts to do exercises are indicated as shown below:

It is now time to complete Exercise 1.

Exercises are found in a separate section in the course website. Use the “Navigation” menu on the left side of the page to click on "Activities" and then "Quizzes" to find all the exercises.

How long will the course work take?

How quickly you complete this course depends on many factors, apart from any problems arising from the course content. Relevant factors might include the following:

  • the amount of time you have available for study
  • your familiarity with the subject-matter
  • your personal study rate (i.e., do you read and comprehend quickly or more slowly?)
  • the environment in which you are studying
  • the length of each study session
  • your commitment and concentration

Your rate of progress will likely vary considerably during the course. Working out a formal timetable will help you track your progress and set reasonable targets for completing the course. By keeping such a record you can establish how much you have done and still need to do, and then plan for the amount of time required to accomplish your goals and complete the course within the contract period. Depending on the amount of time you can set aside, this course may take you several weeks or even several months to complete. Review your progress from time to time and amend your target dates as necessary.

How do you monitor your progress?

As you work through the course, you will want to know whether you are making satisfactory progress. You can do this using the Review pages:

Review pages: At the end of each section, you will find a review of what was contained in that section, including the objectives for the section and a repeat of the questions you will have just answered. The review will remind you of the work you have done, including any project, to determine whether you are unsure of any aspect of the material. If that happens, re-study the relevant parts of the course before you proceed.

Legal Studies 553 is based on the principle of building blocks. If you are not confident in your grasp of any concept or portion of the material, you may experience difficulties later in the course. Be sure to give yourself the advantage of moving forward with confidence. That said, you will find that many of the finer details are only retained as you gain practice, which is provided by working through subsequent modules.

In assessing your progress, be honest with yourself. Be positive in acknowledging your mistakes. How otherwise will you avoid them in the future?

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