The Legislation Design and Advisory Committee has adopted the Legislation Guidelines (2021 edition) [PDF, 1.4 MB], which are a guide to making good legislation.

Cabinet has also endorsed the 2021 Guidelines as the government's key point of reference for assessing whether draft legislation conforms to accepted legal and constitutional principles. Ministers and their officials are required to advise Cabinet of aspects of Bills that depart from the default principles in the Guidelines (ie, the italicised principles within each chapter) and to justify the departures.

The Guidelines are intended to be used as an aid to officials faced with the task of producing legislation. They are not intended to act as a hurdle for officials to overcome, nor are they concerned with second guessing policy decisions.

Instead, they identify and address the many issues that can arise during the legislative development process. The desired end result is high quality legislation, a reduction in the number of failed Bills and the minimisation of litigation risk.

The 2021 Guidelines replace the 2018 Guidelines, and the 2014 edition that was produced by the former Legislation Advisory Committee. The 2018, 2014, and the original 2001 Guidelines can be found in the menu to the left and are provided for reference.

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