The House today passed a bill to modernise and improve the law regarding publication of legislation, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced.
The Legislation Bill is intended to modernise and improve the law regarding the publication, availability, reprinting, revision, and official versions of legislation, and bring it together into one piece of legislation.
The bill forms part of the Government’s response to recommendations made in two reports by the Law Commission, and also responds to recommendations made by the previous Regulations Review Committees on inquiries relating to incorporating material by reference, and the principles to be followed in determining whether delegated legislation is given the status of regulations.
The bill replaces the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920, the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, and the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989, and allow for the following key changes:
It establishes a three-yearly programme of systematic revision of Acts.
The bill would also requires the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to publish legislation in electronic as well as printed form; enables the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to issue official versions of legislation in electronic and printed form, and enhances his or her printing powers to allow him or her, if by Order in Council to do so, to renumber and make consequential renumbering amendments to legislation, but not in such a way as to change the effect of provisions.
“This bill will ensure that legislation is made available to the public appropriately and conveniently,” Mr Finlayson said. “Transparency is a key requirement of good law.”