Legislative Drafting vs Legal Drafting: Conceptual Clarification by Charles Wakji, Esq.

Legislative drafting is the art of communicating the intention of parliament or legislature into written form. It is the discipline of turning the policy ideas of legislators into law fit for the statute book. 

Simply put, legislative drafting is the drafting of legislation or laws in all its ramification. It is an institutionalized means of communication by the legislature that lays down rights, obligations, powers and duties. This must however, be distinguished from legal drafting. 

While legislative drafting entails only the writing of laws, legal drafting is divided into three main categories namely:

  1. Transactional Drafting: This covers drafting of transactional documents such ad contracts, wills, trusts and conveyances etc.
  2. Pleadings Drafting: This involves drafting of documents relating to litigation or documents that are used in the judicial process.
  3. Legislative Drafting 

So therefore, it suffices to state that legislative drafting is a subset of legal drafting. While the use of legal drafting refers to legislative, transactional and Pleadings drafting, legislative drafting refers to only the art of writing laws. Legal drafting speaks in the broad sense while legislative drafting is particular.

However, each of them serve as a medium of communication. They both lay down rights and obligations, powers, privileges and duties.

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