News stories from the Centre
The Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies specialises in teaching and research in the field of legislative drafting and law reform . The Centre plays an immensely important role in the development of legislative drafting as an academic discipline worthy of specialised study. It seeks to spread the Sir William Dale ideas for simple, precise and accurate legislative texts which are accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike in all jurisdictions.
Despite general recognition of legislative drafting as a key discipline in its own right, very few academic institutions inside and outside the UK offer relevant training. Drafters in most countries are expected to learn "on the job" with little guidance on the theoretical and practical framework of their task. The Centre's teaching programmes enable students to familiarise themselves with the concepts of legislative drafting and law reform before they begin their professional career as drafters and law reform activists. Experienced drafters are offered the opportunity to systematise and update their knowledge. Sessions on theory of drafting, small classes and intense drafting exercises are the main tools of tuition. The Centre has expertise and offers tuition to drafters, legal officers and from the Commonwealth countries. Moreover, the Centre has expertise and offers tuition addressing the particular needs of drafters in Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America and Australia. This broad scope of activity reflects the creation of new countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in some parts of the Commonwealth, as well as to take into account the increasing tendency for devolution within existing states. The Centre's teaching also takes account of the traditions of the Civil Law as well as those of the Common Law. On the basis of performance in class and in assignments there is opportunity for successful students to register for the M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Legislative Drafting of the University of London.
The Centre offers the LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies of the University of London.
The Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies is delighted to announce the launch of the Sir William Dale Legislative Drafting Clinic from March 2013.
A pioneer in the field of theoretical and professional legislative drafting programmes, the Sir William Dale Centre now extends its rounded approach to the legal education of legislative drafters by applying the concept of clinical legal education to legislative drafting. The innovative purpose of the Legislative Drafting Clinic is to promote practical legal education for legislative drafters and at the same time to offer free legislative drafting services to Governments, NGOs and Parliamentarians with limited resources.The Legislative Drafting Clinic is chaired by Professor Helen Xanthaki and directed by Ronan Cormacain, Dr. Mahar Ilahi and Maria Mousmouti. For the mission and services of the clinic, information for requesting services or expressions of interest for volunteer drafters, please visit the webpages of the Legislative Drafting Clinic at http://ials.sas.ac.uk/postgrad/LDclinic/LDclinic.htm
The Centre is delighted to announce that the European Commission has offered its Jean Monnet prestigious seal of approval to two courses: the Jean Monnet Module "Legislating for EU Membership and Accession" and Jean Monnet Module "Theories of European Integration" . The Modules are offered both as modules of the EU Direction of the LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies and as stand-alone Summer Courses leading to a Certificate of Attendance.
The Centre continues to offer the one-month intensive Commonwealth Course in Legislative Drafting aiming to offer professional training in legislative drafting to legal officers of the Commonwealth. A Legislative Drafting Course brochure and application form are available on this site both in MS Word and PDF format.
The Centre offers consultancy in the area of law reform and legislative drafting and its staff organis a number of tailor-made courses in Europe, Africa and Asia. The Centre has received funding from the Department for International Development for a three-years project, now extended to four years, designed to provide training to Ukrainian drafters. Emphasis is given on the principles of modern legislative drafting in civil law countries, institutional reform for EU accession countries, and drafting for approximation with EU legislation.
The Centre has received funding from the Commission of the European Union for a number of projects related to law reform in the area of EU criminal law. The Centre participates to a large number of similar projects funded by the European Union and administered from UK and European agencies.
The Centre organises the Annual Sir William Dale Memorial Lecture . Prestigious speakers from the UK and abroad explore the latest developments on issues related to legislative drafting.
The Centre collaborates with the Statute Law Society and organises annual series of evening seminars and public lectures on aspects of national, EU and international legislative drafting.
The Centre is introducing a Graduate Series of Lectures in Legislative Drafting. The Series offers a forum to postgraduate students and professional drafters allowing them to present the core argument, or even side arguments, of their work, as a means of testing the validity of their hypothesis, the methodology chosen by the researcher, the structure of their analysis, and the universality of their conclusions.
Research is undertaken at Centre, staff and student levels. Current focus is on the quality of EU legislation. The Centre co-operates with the Institute of European Law of Basel (Switzerland) and Indiana University (USA) in the publication of the European Journal of Law Reform.
The Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies welcomes applications for internships at the Centre. Interns may be in their final year of undergraduate study or at postgraduate level. Interns perform research and other appropriate work at the Centre on an unpaid basis. Internships are offered on a competitive basis and subject to approval of the arrangements and project by the IALS Management Committee. If you are interested in an internship with the Centre, please email The Academic Director, Professor Helen Xanthaki at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Centre and its staff offer consultancy services to governmental and international agencies in the area of legislative drafting.
Legislative Drafters' Forum
Legislative Drafters is a forum for the international drafting community established by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, available online at http://legislativedrafters.blogspot.com/. The forum was begun as a collaborative exercise between Daniel Greenberg, who proposed the idea, Helen Xanthaki and Constantin Stefanou.
Daniel Greenberg was Parliamentary Counsel (UK) from 1991 to 2010 and is now Parliamentary Counsel in the Parliamentary Team at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in London, editor of Craies on Legislation, Stroud's Judicial Dictionary and Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law, as well as the General Editor of Annotated Statutes, Westlaw UK. Daniel is an associate research fellow of the IALS. The purpose of the forum is simply to serve as a method of communication for drafters in any jurisdiction around the world, to share ideas, problems and solutions. Anyone can start a thread or leave a comment on an existing thread. The hope is that drafters will feel able to use the forum to seek ideas from their colleagues around the world on technical issues or any legal issue that has a specific association with legislative drafting. It would also be an ideal repository for short articles which contain thoughts or research that are worth sharing with colleagues internationally but which may not be suitable for inclusion in a journal: it is hoped that from time to time some of these articles will be extracted from the forum and included in a dedicated online journal which will provide a corporate memory for the site. Particularly in its early formative stages, all drafters are warmly invited to become involved in the forum and to help to shape it in a way that will enhance its usefulness to them in the future.