The fascinating world of legislative drafting

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Thursday 21 August 2008

Have you ever wondered how legislation is made? Have you ever thought that it would be fascinating to learn more about the legislative process or the exact way in which parliamentary drafters change and amend existing statutory instruments?

I assume you have answered in the affirmative to the above two questions (otherwise why are you still reading), but regardless, I am now going to show you a small snippet that reveals how even legislative drafters can have a little fun.

In 2003, the Financial Services Reform Amendment Act was introduced, which by its own words was an “Act to amend the law relating to financial services and markets, and for other purposes”. Apparently one of these ‘other purposes’ was the very important amendment of section 766C, subsection 7 of the Corporations Act 2001. In order to carry out this significant change, schedule 2 had to be introduced, which contained subsection 14 and the following instructions:

Omit “not to be”, substitute “to be, or not to be,”.

Just in case you wondering what subsection 7 of section 766C now looks like (and whether that really is the question), feel free to peruse the Corporations Act at your own leisure. But I’m sure you’ll agree, Shakespeare would be proud.


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