Using the Guidelines

When to use these Guidelines 

The production of legislation will involve a number of initial policy decisions, but it will also involve countless decisions that must be taken as the legislation develops. Each decision has the potential to bring further issues to light. These Guidelines will have the greatest impact when considered as a whole at the outset of the legislative development process, but also referred to as new issues arise and legislation develops.   

How to use these Guidelines

The principles contained within these Guidelines are those that the LAC considers to be the most important to the legislative design process. These Guidelines are designed to be the first port of call for officials who are designing legislation, and will be supplemented in due course with more detailed text. 

Each chapter of these Guidelines contains a general introduction to the issue and a series of questions, principles (italicised), and some brief explanatory text.  

In general, the LAC considers that the default approach (reflected by the italicised text) should be adopted. In some cases the default position may be departed from, however officials must be able to provide reasoned justification for that departure and should include that justification in any supporting material. 

The LAC will assess new bills against these Guidelines; however nothing in these Guidelines restricts the ability of the LAC to comment on any matter relating to a bill that it considers appropriate in the interests of encouraging high-quality legislation. 

Most sections also contain a “further reading” section. The texts and other documents referred to in this section do not form part of these Guidelines; rather, they are provided to assist the reader who may wish to further explore the issues discussed in a particular chapter. The LAC does not endorse the contents of those documents mentioned in the “further reading” sections (save for those documents produced by the LAC itself). 

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