Training in Legislative Drafting

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Information about Training in Legislative Drafting

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: nilendrakumar7



Law making is a specialised branch for law professionals. Framing of simple and pragmatic laws capable of easy understanding and effective compliance would lead to good governance.


Presented by Maj Gen Nilendra Kumar on 19 October 2012 at Korea Legislation Research Institute, Seoul, South Korea

Laws should be simple, easy to understand and facilitate their compliance. Laws are meant for the community and not for lawyers alone.

Most of the laws affect and have implication over a large number of people.

A common man is always reminded that the ignorance of law is no excuse! But what is being done to create awareness of laws?

Presently most of the legislative produce is technical and beyond normal populace. This results in non compliance, confusion, friction and litigation.

Law making falls in the domain of legislature.

CHALLENGES 1. Law making is carried out by politicians and civil servants often with no training or expertise in this process. 2. Lawyers have a vested interest in retention of old system. 3 Law making is a technical and complex process.

Read a need to simplify laws into An intent to comply with ICCAPR regime.

EXPECTATIONS FROM THE LAWS 1. Fight hunger and employment 2. Increase world trade

Only a simple unambiguous legislation can equip a person with his civil, political and economic rights. Knowledge of law is a essential to the enforcement of one’s rights to life, privacy, employment and development.

PROBLEM COMPOUNDED BY 1. Ego of politicians 2. At transnational level, different languages add to complexity. Often the translations appear to be literal rather than in letter and spirit.

Words often change their meaning and purpose over the years.

EXAMPLE OF CENTURY OLD LAWS IN INDIA 1. Indian Penal Code, 1860 2. Societies Registration Act, 1860 3. Indian Evidence Act, 1872 4. Indian Contract Act, 1872

5. Code of Civil Procedures, 1908. These all are drafted in complex and technical text. These use words which in many cases have lost their relevance.

What to do?

Suggested way out

Impart training in legislative drafting.

Impart training in use of simple and easy text.

Bring in clarity

Lobby for inclusion of legislative drafting as a subject at post graduate law programs.

1. Carry out a review of old and partially obsolete laws. 2. Institute training in legislative drafting.

Train and prepare specialists in drafting of laws.

Prepare a training programs that can be offered as obligatory continuing education.

Organise imaginative and innovative exercises to train law students in simple law making competitions.

Introduce competitions in law reforms also with regard to international instruments and covenants.

Also adopt online and distance education options.

1. Create a body of experts in law making. 2 Lobby for use of experts who can bid for contracts in legislative drafting projects. 3. Organise regular conferences at sub regional, regional and international levels.

Prepare model legislative drafts. These should be used as templates like conveyances.

MAKE A START WITH 1. Aviation 2. Shipping 3. Peace keeping operations 4. International trade

5. Foreign currency remittances 6. Diplomatic relations 7. Sports and games

Prepare and circulate Do’s and Don’ts

The object is not to have uniformity in legislation but to universalize an expert approach towards legislative drafting competence.

Also stimulate round tables and discussions on policy formulations.

Develop the speciality in statutory architecture.

FURTHER STEPS 1. Set up an international association or society. 2. Start a journal 3. Encourage establishment of national bodies.

MEMBERSHIP MAY EXTEND TO 1. Lawyers 2. Law academics 3. Parliamentarians 4. Civil servants 5. Civil society activists 6. Diplomats

ADVANTAGES 1. Reduce litigation 2. Achieve greater compliance of laws 3. Encourage savings in state resources 4. Reduce conflicts, disillusionment, tension and uncertainty.

Laws having common purpose in the region can be enacted by international co-operation.

A pool of international experts may be formed to seek expert guidance.

Let India and South Korea make a beginning in the form of bilateral efforts.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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