As part of the Graduate Diploma in Legislative Writing from Athabasca University (based in Alberta, Canada), they teach law students the seven Cs, which are the following guidelines for successful legislative development: 3. Follow legislative drafting standards – This means that the author must follow the legal requirements and editorial standards of his or her jurisdiction. We can answer this question, first, by placing ourselves in the context of a jurisprudence that some would describe as utopian – a science or, more modestly, an analytical art that every author should strive to practice, but without despairing of the inability to reach this imaginary place, or topos. The issue of legal certainty also raises other requirements relating to the content of standards. If I am somewhat reluctant to articulate these requirements, it is because they bring us into an area of legislative preparation where judgments can no longer be based on objective criteria. Having established the essential positive and negative rules for determining the content of laws, I would like to describe two techniques for determining the material content of laws. The third rule faced by the legislator in determining the content of standards is the need to respect the equality of citizens before the law. In Belgium, this is a rule established for legislators since 1831. The Belgian legislative bodies in the narrow sense – federal, regional and Community – have been required since the introduction of the Court of Arbitration by a special law of 6. In January 1989, it was empowered to monitor its compliance with Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution, which enshrine the principle of equality for Belgians, and to annul any law. Order or resolution that violates these provisions. This rule is also binding on the legislators of the signatory countries of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 (Article 14) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 3), adopted in New York on 19 December 1966, to the extent of the rights recognized in these treaties and their additional protocols. A lesson with a different objective – the definition of the conditions under which laws are drafted – can be drawn from a legal interpretation of case law: in the long term, a typology of shortcomings in the current drafting of legislation could be prepared in order to identify areas to which the drafters of the legislation should pay particular attention.
And the authors themselves could present a list of pitfalls to avoid in their handbook on drafting legislation, thus improving the body of law as a whole. Clearly, such a proposal contradicts a priori the concept of legislative power in the broadest sense of the term and raises the following question: is not the content of a rule the inalienable domain of the sovereignty of that authority? If the answer is yes, the formulation of the content of a rule cannot be entrusted to technicians, however competent they may be. 5. Choose a good presentation – This means that the legal text should be easy to digest and the author should include short sentences, appropriate paragraphs (or subsections), etc. to ensure that the reader can easily read and understand the legal text. These are therefore the most important steps in the author`s reflection to determine the content of the Statute. However, it should be borne in mind that under no circumstances can the legislator enact effective laws. Depending on its position in the hierarchy of normative authorities, the legislator is more or less necessarily subject to certain restrictions that may well have an impact on the content of the proposed rule. Consequently, the author must verify compliance with these restrictions in order to avoid a subsequent nullity of the rule in question. Not all of these restrictions are enshrined in law.
In Belgium, there is only one thing: the equality of citizens before the law. I would tend to describe others as super-legal: they serve as postulates for the drafting of legislation. What are the “Seven Cs” and what do they have to do with the drafting of a law? During this pandemic period, I researched and read about drafting laws and studied some of the documents made available to the public. The content of any law – an instrument for achieving legislative intent – depends more or less closely on the objectives pursued by the legislator. These objectives can be distinguished on several levels. In other words, the elaboration of written law gives way to a science of legislative conception that is not limited to questions of form, but informs the content of the norm, while completely moving on to the inalienable prerogatives of the legislator. Sometimes an overly controversial view of the law leads people to view a rule as ineffective simply because it leads to very few court decisions. To take an example from the Belgian Civil Code: four articles enshrine the principle of the increased irrevocability of gifts between living persons, a principle according to which, contrary to the rule applicable to remunerated acts, the parties to a gift between living persons cannot give the donor the power to unilaterally revoke his gift; If they do, the gift will be canceled. The decisions published on these provisions can be counted on the fingers of one hand. But there is hardly any legal principle that is better respected.
From the point of view of drafting legislation, this is therefore an excellent rule because it is effective and rarely brought before the courts. 1. Analyze and plan – This means that the author has a solid idea of what to communicate when he starts drafting the legislative action. This requires knowledge of the context of the bill and its political rationale, as well as an understanding of the existing law.