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Background

From the establishment of the Attorney General's Chambers in 1983, the drafting of legislation for the Falkland Islands Government was largely carried out in-house at the Attorney General's Chambers without the benefit of dedicated legislative drafters, and mostly by a single drafter; the former Attorney General. This was supplemented by occasional external contract drafting.

In 2009 a dedicated legislative drafter was recruited to carry out most of the required legislative drafting. However, because of the continuing drafting demands it was decided that some legislative drafting work would continue to be outsourced through the use of contract drafters, for which a panel was established.

In 2013 an additional legislative drafter was recruited, so currently there are two full time legislative drafters within the Attorney General's Chambers.

What we do

The Law and Regulation Directorate ordinarily provides all legal services to the Falkland Islands Government, legislative drafting being one of these services. This means that all legislation that is drafted (even if outsourced to contract drafters) is authorised by the Attorney General.

The services provided within the Legislative Drafting team are –

  • the drafting of all proposed laws for introduction into the Legislative Assembly;
  • the drafting of committee stage amendments to Bills that are to be considered by the Legislative Assembly; and
  • the drafting of all subordinate legislation.

 In order to start the legislative drafting process, there must be a request from the instructing Government department. The department needing the legislation gives the legislative drafters a legislation drafting request form. This form sets out what the required legislation is all about.

In other countries there are lawyers within government departments who will assist with the development or production of drafting instructions. This is not the case in the Falkland Islands. Therefore, the Legislative Drafting team is also tasked with assisting clients to develop drafting instructions. This requires working closely with the instructing department to obtain policy approval from Executive Council as well as obtaining the information on which to base the drafting instructions.

To assist departments in this regard, a document has been produced which deals with this important aspect of providing adequate drafting instructions. These are known as 'Guidance for Preparing Drafting Instructions'. These can be downloaded here:

Download: Guidance for Preparing Drafting Instructions (PDF file; 399KB)

To be able to produce timely, high quality legislation, work is currently ongoing to produce a Drafting Manual and Guidance has been produced. This will ensure that there is consistency with regards to the drafting practice, format, and style of Falkland Islands legislation and will also ensure that modern drafting practices are consistently adopted where appropriate.  The Drafting Mannual and Guidance can be downloaded here:

Download: Drafting Manual and Guidance (PDF file; 977KB)

 Following production of a draft, the Legislative Drafting team will remain closely involved in the processes of –

  • obtaining Executive Council approval of a Bill (that is by collaborating on the production of the relevant Executive Council Paper which explains the draft legislation and summarises the approval or recommendations being sought);
  • publishing the Bill or the subsidiary legislation;
  • progressing the Bill through the Legislative Assembly (including drafting of any committee stage amendments required); and
  • obtaining assent to the Bill (which is given by the Governor), and arranging for publication of the resulting Ordinance.

The Legislative Process

Legislative process