This is a single section from Chapter 19. Read the full chapter here.

How will the legislation be enforced?

The Government should not generally become involved in enforcing rules or otherwise regulating in an area where the rules can be reliably enforced by those who are subject to them.


Every Act has an administering department or ministry; however, consideration must be given to what role the Government will have in enforcing the legislation and whether regulation of the issues and conduct can be left to the individuals or groups concerned.

The Government’s role will vary depending on what the statute sets out to do. A statute may grant legal rights or make use of existing rights that are left to the parties to a dispute to resolve (by the courts or otherwise) (see Chapter 20). At the other end of the spectrum is the criminal law, where the full weight of the Government’s powers are brought to bear on an individual through the investigation and prosecution of crime and the administration of sentences (see Chapter 21).

Often legislation will provide for registration and discipline of professions, but the Government has little or no ongoing involvement in administering the Act; that is left to registration bodies and the profession concerned.

In general, the Government should have little involvement in areas where the enforcement of legal rights and obligations can reliably be left to those who are subject to them and where the civil law already provides adequate rules and procedures.

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