Frequently drafters (1) draft vague bills which will neither be interpreted nor implemented in a predictable manner, (2) rely on personal opinions to fill policy gaps, or (3) copy another jurisdiction’s law, uncritically reflecting extra-jurisdictional priorities and facts. These drafting strategies are fundamentally ineffective and undemocratic.
An implementable law contains commands, permissions and prohibitions that are unambiguous and that address the causes of problematic behaviors. Translating a policy into implementable, transformative legislation requires
• specifying the circumstances under which the government will deliver a service or impose a sanction,
• specifying who will make subsequent decisions, and
• clarifying how government officials will balance divergent interests.
A well-drafted law makes it possible to hold an implementing agency accountable for performing mandated functions and to prohibit the agency from engaging in unauthorized activities.
This course introduces the art of transformative legislative drafting that solves problems. The course begins by providing an overview of the hierarchy of laws. It next challenges participants to identify ways to address a problem at different levels of the national legal system using different normative instruments. The course then introduces participants to the parts of the law and teaches them how to read a law and propose ways to improve it.