Legislative Design - Clarifying the Legislative Porridge

(2021) 38 Company & Securities Law Journal

23 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2021

See all articles by Rosemary Teele Langford

Rosemary Teele Langford

University of Melbourne - Law School

Andrew Godwin

Melbourne Law School

Vivienne Brand

Flinders University

Date Written: June 10, 2021


Legislative design directly affects the clarity, coherence and navigability of legislation. It is therefore of critical importance to regulated persons and entities as they seek to comply with legislative requirements and to regulators and courts as they seek to interpret and apply them. Calls over many years for legislation governing corporate and financial services law in Australia to be simplified were reinforced by the Financial Services Royal Commission Final Report of 2019. The report recommended that, as far as possible, exceptions and qualifications to generally applicable norms of conduct be eliminated and that legislation identify expressly the fundamental norms of behaviour in respect of rules. These calls recently culminated in the commencement of a review into the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation by the Australian Law Reform Commission. This article examines the context behind these calls and engages with the ongoing debate about legislative design and simplification of law. In addition to outlining the issues, the article provides the context for the articles that follow in this special issue.

Keywords: legislative design, regulatory models, legislative drafting, principles-based regulation, law simplification

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K22

Suggested Citation

Langford, Rosemary Teele and Godwin, Andrew and Brand, Vivienne, Legislative Design - Clarifying the Legislative Porridge (June 10, 2021). (2021) 38 Company & Securities Law Journal, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3889906

Rosemary Teele Langford (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010

Andrew Godwin

Melbourne Law School ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053

Vivienne Brand

Flinders University ( email )

GPO Box 2100
Adelaide S.A. 5001, SA 5063

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