Styles of Legislation and Their Effects
Statute Law Review , Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 38–53, 2011
16 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Last revised: 17 Mar 2011
Date Written: August 23, 2010
This paper discusses legislative styles, a hitherto understudied aspect of legislation. Style is defined as at the way legislation is composed. Three components are indicative for style of legislation and these are the wording and phraseology (general use of language, definitions, terminology, etc.), the structure (physical structure of the parts and elements, ways of referencing, relation and hierarchy between legislative documents, etc.) and the legal-cultural identity (constitutional context, legal system, legal family – e.g. common law or civil law – tradition, pedigree) of legislative texts. On the basis of a survey different styles of legislation from countries within and outside the EU are compared and assessed. The paper argues that style of legislation does matter as regards the overall accessibility, compliance, implementability and interpretation of legislation as well as the correspondence between domestic and EU or international legislation, especially when it comes down to the implementation or transposition thereof. Style – so it is argued – also determines the chances of transferability of legislative solutions.
Keywords: Legislation, Legislative Drafting, Style, Common Law, Civil Law, International Drafting, Multilingual Drafting
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