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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

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

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Legislative Drafting Office

About the Legislative Drafting Office

We are a team of lawyers, aided by our editorial support, who specialise in the preparation of Laws for enactment by the States of Jersey and the Queen in Council, Regulations to be made by the States of Jersey and Orders to be made by Ministers. We also prepare amendments to legislation on behalf of Ministers, Scrutiny Panels and individual States Members.

In addition we aim to ensure that the laws of Jersey as displayed on the Jersey Law website are available for access by everyone in a form that is as accurate and up to date as possible.

The Legislative Drafting Office is part of the States Greffe. The office is headed by Lucy Marsh-Smith, Principal Legislative Drafter.

What we do

We prepare draft legislation that gives legal effect to the policy of the promoter of it, and we do so in such a way that is:

  • sufficiently unambiguous as to leave no room for construction other than that intended by the promoter
  • sufficiently clear as to be readily understood by the users of the legislation

How we do it

We are lawyers trained in the specialism of legislative drafting. It takes a number of years to become proficient in the art of turning policies into law. We work closely with policy officers across Government who tell us what they want in any new legislation, which could cover a diverse range of subject matters, to contain. It is our job to assist them in developing these drafting instructions and to test the effectiveness and legal soundness of the proposals. We also provide a confidential drafting service to Scrutiny panels and individual members who wish to challenge or improve proposed Government legislation by making changes to it.

We are a team of professionals who pride ourselves in maintaining in our work high standards of integrity, quality and independence. The values of the States of Jersey are integral to how we achieve our goals.

Publishing legislation

We produce the Jersey legislation displayed on the Jersey Legal Information Board website. Since 2019 we have been publishing updated consolidated versions of the legislation when any amending legislation are made.

On 28 September 2021 the Legislation (Jersey) Law 2021 comes into force. This law gives official status to the consolidated versions of our legislation (effectively replacing the former Revised Editions).

We have updated the website to take account of these changes and we have improved the search facilities. This work forms part of our ongoing Beyond 250 project to celebrate the anniversary of the 1771 Code of Laws.

28 September 2021 Change over day for legislation on

Drafting Practice Manual

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 Drafting Practice Manual. The manual is written for the benefit of our drafters, but we are publishing it because it should also be useful in aiding users of our legislation to understand how the legislation should be read. For more of the background information that is essential to understanding legislation, readers should also refer to the Interpretation (Jersey) Law 1954, and to the other publications and Laws mentioned in the introduction to the manual.

Drafting Practice Manual

Training manual for instructing officers

The Legislative Drafting Office runs regular training courses on how to instruct the drafter and has written a manual giving further guidance on writing drafting instructions and the legislation making process in Jersey more generally.

Making new legislation: a guide to instructing the drafter

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