Drafting Matters!: guidance

Guidance on the drafting of primary legislation.

Foreword by the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC

James Wolffe QC, The Lord Advocate

James Wolffe QC
The Lord Advocate

While the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debate enriches our democracy, it is one of the essential functions of a Parliament to pass laws.

Legislation is the engine through which policies are translated into binding rules which govern us all. If legislation is to fulfil its purpose, it is essential that it reflects accurately the policy intention of the legislators and communicates clearly to the people who are affected by the legislation.

Those who draft the laws which apply to us fulfil an essential public function in our constitutional democracy.

The Parliamentary Counsel in the Scottish Government are highly skilled and strive to produce the best legislation in the world.

Parliamentary drafting is an art and it is right that we share our guiding principles. This shows our strong commitment to ensuring that Scottish legislation is drafted in language which is as plain, clear and concise as the subject allows.

Sharing this material will allow the drafting of primary legislation to be better understood by everyone, not least the Parliament, the judiciary, the wider legal community as well as all the interested bodies across the public and third sector for whom the impact of legislative drafting is so important.

I am delighted the Scottish Government has decided to make this document publicly available, increasing the transparency of this important process which will in turn raise confidence in our legislation.

James Wolffe QC
The Lord Advocate

Abair ach beagan is abair gu math e

Say but little and say it well



Email: Jonathan Brown

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