Legislative Drafting

Legislative Drafting Services

Government drafters work under very tight time-constraints. As a result, a client may not have ample time to liaise with the drafter to ensure that the draft adequately meets the client’s needs. Often, even after sufficient consultation, the government drafter is not able to produce the legislation in good time. Spectrum Consultants Ltd. provides quality legislative drafting services to try and ameliorate the negative effects of these challenges. We draft legislation mainly for governments but also for private sector entities. Our principal consultant was a full-time government drafter in 4 countries over decades, while also occasionally being engaged in the past as a consultant by governments and international organisations. Further, his training many years ago took him to England and Canada for a total period of 3 years.

Contrary to popular belief, legislative drafters Рnow more commonly referred as legislative counsel, which more accurately describes what they do Рare not tasked to merely reduce to writing policies that have been decided upon. Of course legislative counsel are supposed to give legislative effect to policies and in doing so express ideas in the simplest way possible, taking into account the complexity of the subject-matter. More than that, they are supposed to have a practical understanding of how a law will operate in practice and assist the client in addressing all the matters of detail that may arise. Legislative counsel also need to understand how the whole legislative process works. It is because of these (and other reasons) that many advanced countries insist that only legislative counsel who work in government or have worked as legislative counsel in government should draft legislation. When any person other than a true legislative counsel is engaged to draft legislation, the results, either immediately or in the long-term, often prove to be mixed if not outright disastrous.

Spectrum Consultants Ltd. has experience of these pitfalls. By engaging us, a client can rest assured that the legislation will be of the highest quality conceptually and editorially, and that we will also advise on matters that are likely to arise in Cabinet or in the Legislative Assembly. That way the policy makers can be ready to deal with them should they arise.

We write legislation where the policy has been sufficiently developed, but can also work with a client to assist them in developing the policy, working with the client’s subject-matter experts. In either case, we are ready to undertake structured consultation with all stakeholders in government and outside, subject to the direction of the client. Once the final report and draft legislation are ready, we remain available to answer any questions that government legislative counsel may have.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Michel_Rathwell