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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Legislative Drafting Office

About the Legislative Drafting Office

We’re a team of lawyers and legislative editors who prepare:

  • laws for enactment by the States Assembly and the King in Council
  • regulations to be made by the States Assembly
  • orders to be made by Ministers
  • amendments to legislation on behalf of Ministers, scrutiny panels and individual States Members

Our aim is to turn policies into unambiguous and clear laws. 

We work closely with policy officers across Government. They tell us what they want in legislation, which covers a wide range of subjects.

We help them: 

  • develop the instructions
  • test the effectiveness and legal soundness of the proposals

We also provide a confidential drafting service to scrutiny panels and States Members wanting to challenge or change proposed Government legislation.

Our office is headed by Lucy Marsh-Smith, Principal Legislative Drafter, and is part of the States Greffe​.

Find more information on our YouTube channel, LinkedIn page and X feeds.

Publishing legislation

We publish Jersey legislation on the Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB).​

We aim to make sure Jersey’s laws are as accurate and up to date as possible and accessible by everyone.

Since 2019 we have been publishing updated consolidated versions of the legislation each time any amending legislation is made.

In 2021 the Legislation (Jersey) Law 2021 came into force. This law gives official status to the consolidated versions of our legislation (replacing the former Revised Editions).

We updated JLIB to take account of these changes. That work formed part of our Beyond 250 project to celebrate the anniversary of the 1771 Code of Laws.

We continue to work with JLIB to improve search facilities and other features of the site.

Current drafting practice

The Legislative Drafting Office follows the modern drafting practices of Commonwealth drafting offices. Many of our practices are specific to Jersey, and these are set out in our Current Drafting Practice.

Current Drafting Practice

This document is mainly written for our drafters, but should also help users understand how to read legislation.

Find more information on understanding legislation in the Interpretation (Jersey) Law 1954 and other publications and laws mentioned in the document.

Training manual for instructing officers

We have regular training courses for Government policy officers on how to give instructions to our drafters.

We have written a manual giving further guidance on writing drafting instructions and the legislation making process in Jersey.

Making new legislation: a guide to instructing the drafter

Computer-Readable Legislation Project 2023 to 2024

The Legislative Drafting Office has a 2-year project to find the best way for drafters and colleagues to produce computer-readable versions of the logical structure of our draft legislation. This work is part of the global "Rules as Code" movement.

If computers can follow the structure of legislation, they will be able to check our drafts for inconsistencies or unexpected effects. The drafters can then fix any logical problems before the legislation is enacted. Computers can then also guide humans through the legislation once it’s published.

We are also working with Digital Jersey to see whether artificial intelligence can help with reading legislation. We’ll produce guidance and training material for drafters, using the lessons learned about draft​ing during the project.

Introduction to the Computer-Readable Legislation Project

Find more ​information on the Computer-Readable Legislation Pro​ject (CRLP) and the CRLP blog.

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