Comparative Legislation and Global Statutory Drafting Skills

Legal cultures differ radically from one another in the processes through which statutes are created as well as the writing styles used in drafting them. In some countries, statutes are drafted quickly by legislative staffers prompted by political decisions, and statutes tend to be long, specifying every detail (“fussy”). In others, a statute may be drafted over a period of years with significant input from experts in the subject matter governed by the statute, and the resulting wording is generally short, general, and abstract, with few details (“fuzzy”). Why do legal cultures differ in this way? What do the differences reveal about the cultures themselves? What can we learn by comparing legislative processes around the globe? And what can these differences teach us about how to improve the legislative process and legislative drafting? The panelists will discuss African, German, Swedish, and U.S. approaches to drafting and enacting statutes, including administrative rules and regulations known in some countries as “secondary legislation.” The presentations will compare and contrast legislative drafting processes in each country and demonstrate methods for teaching global rule-drafting skills. Finally, the panelists will lead a discussion regarding innovative ways to used rule-drafting skills to teach legal analysis, transactional drafting, and other legal writing skills.