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

Legislative process is simply the steps required for a proposed bill to become law. The process which a bill passes through before it becomes a law that is binding is the legislative process. This must however, be distinguished from legislative drafting.

Legislative drafting is the discipline of turning the policy ideas of legislators into the language and form of law.  It is the writing of legislation which is then taken to the floor of the legislature for consideration and passage into law (this process of consideration is what is known as the legislative process).

A bill at the legislative drafting stage is at best a proposal to the legislature. It however becomes law when it goes through the legislative process successfully.

A bill cannot go through the different stages for it to become law (legislative process) without it being first written down (legislative drafting). Legislative drafting precedes legislative process.

Legislative drafting is the work of lawyers, legislative counsels 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 State’s Ministry of Justice.

Wukatwe Charles Wakji Esq. can be contacted via: charlzwakji@gmail.com

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