Legislation Advisory Committee Guidelines

From the Wellington District Law Society Seminar
3rd April 2006


  • Guide to making good legislation
  • Cover both process and content
  • Designed to ensure legislation is consistent, clear and
  • in accordance with fundamental principle


  • All those involved in preparation of legislation – from earliest formulation to final drafting

Status of Guidelines

  • Approved by Cabinet
  • Expectation that legislation will comply with them
  • Non-compliance at policy formulation/drafting stage may cause problems in passage of legislation and implementation


  • 2001 edition and 2003 supplement
  • In three parts:

(1) Process of developing legislation
(2) Consistency with basic principles and existing law
(3) Particular issues


Main questions are:

  • Have policy objectives been clearly defined?
  • Could the objectives be achieved without legislation?
  • If not, is proposed legislation the right legislative vehicle?
  • Has there been adequate consultation (about both problem and proposed solution)?
  • Is there adequate time to prepare legislation properly?


Main questions are:

  • Is legislation consistent with rest of the statute book? Does it take into account Interpretation Act?
  • Is it consistent with BORA and Human Rights Act?
  • Has it addressed principles of Treaty of Waitangi?
  • Does it comply with fundamental principles - natural justice, non-retrospectivity, protection of vested rights etc?
  • Does it conflict with common law and how is that addressed?
  • Is it consistent with international obligations?

Particular Issues


  • Creation of new public power
  • Creation of new public body
  • Delegation of law-making power
  • Exercise of delegated powers
  • Remedies
  • Criminal offences
  • Appeal or review
  • Powers of entry and search
  • Powers to require and use personal information


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