Legislative Drafting Process v. Legislative Process: Conceptual Clarification by Wukatwe Charles Wakji, Esq.

Legislative drafting process refers to those steps, drafting instructions or policies of government go through in the hand of the drafter for it to be converted into a draft bill fit for presentation in the legislature.

According to Thornton, there are five stages in the drafting process. They are:

  1. Understanding instruction
  2. Analyzing instruction
  3. Design
  4. Composition
  5. Scrutiny and testing.

Legislative process on the other hand, is the steps required for a proposed bill to become law. The process in which a bill passes through before it becomes a law that is binding, is the legislative process. 

The following are the stages or steps a bill goes through in the National Assembly:

  1. First reading 
  2. Second reading 
  3. Committee stage
  4. Third reading 
  5. Concurrence 
  6. Presidential assent/Veto

The drafting process activates the legislative process. A bill must have to go through the drafting process before it is fit for the legislative process.

The legislative process is the responsibility of elected law makers who must not necessarily be lawyers but must however be validly elected in accordance with the Constitution and the Electoral Act. The drafting process on the other hand is the responsibility of lawyers, legislative counsel or legislative drafters in the Directorate of Legal Services in the National Assembly and Department of Legal Drafting in the State Houses of Assembly, Federal Ministry of Justice and States Ministry of Justice.

Wukatwe Charles Wakji Esq. specializes in Bill Drafting, Bill Scrutiny and Analysis and Post- Legislative Scrutiny. He can be contacted via: charlzwakji@gmail.com 

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