The Legislative Drafting Course was directed by Sir William Dale until 1999. Since 1999 the Course Director is Professor Helen Xanthaki, the Academic Director of the Centre and Senior Lecturer, University of London. The Course is taught by prominent members of the drafting and academic professions over a period of four weeks of intensive daily lectures and tutorials/seminars.
Class attending the last course directed by Sir William Dale in 1999.
In bottom row from left to right: Claire Ekins, George Harre, Sir William Dale,
Prof. Helen Xanthaki (current Course Director).
A good indication of the Course's excellence has been the growing numbers of students, mainly from Commonwealth countries. During the thirty years since the Course has been in existence, it has not been found necessary to make any major changes. However, recent developments in teaching standards applicable to all University courses and recent developments in the field of drafting have made some change in the course necessary.
The Course now includes some theoretical examination of the legal and political framework of legislative drafting in addition to, rather than instead of, the core of practical issues examined in the course so far. The syllabus is determined before the beginning of each course and is distributed to all students. Course materials (lecture hand-outstutorial, drafting exercises and extracts of the main reading materials covering each topic) are also available. The curriculum is devised in a way which allows students first to familiarise themselves with the basic concepts of drafting from a theoretical point of view so as to enable them when they subsequently come into contact with professional drafters to understand the practical aspects of drafting and specific types of legislative texts.
Class of 2014 with Professor Helen Xanthi (centre)
Moreover, in view of the international lack of training courses on drafting EU legal texts and other international agreements, such topics have been added to the curriculum. Insofar as drafting exercises are concerned, these are marked by the lecturers and returned to the students with feedback on their progress, so as to allow students to learn from past mistakes and gain an informed opinion as to their progress in the course. It also enables eligibility for postgraduate degrees within the Centre.
Last but not least, course and lecturers' evaluation forms are distributed to students at the end of the teaching. This allows the Director to make an informed choice on future guest lecturers and topics. As required by the University teaching standards, an annual report on the course, including all of the above, is kept in the Centre for the purpose of quality teaching inspections.
In order to facilitate course participants, governments and sponsors, it is possible to arrange for the payment of a single sum including tuition fees, accommodation, breakfast and evening meals at the University of London Intercollegiate Halls of Residence. This has been a popular option with many participants in view of the central location of the halls of residence, their proximity to the IALS and their reasonable rates. It must be noted that the halls of residence cater mainly for students and are, therefore, spartan but comfortable. Participants requiring hotel standard accommodation must make their own arrangements.
Click here for all comments on the class from course graduates.
"I enjoyed every moment here. The course opened my eyes to some grey areas in my drafting. It offered me the opportunity to network with drafters in different jurisdictions. I wish I had the opportunity much earlier"
"The lecturers are awesome! They really know what they are doing"
"This is a great course! It's not just about how we actually draft a provision in the legislation but the professors and guest speakers inspire us to think about the whole legislative process from the beginning to the end. The course encouraged me to think deeper and outside the box. Thank you Helen and Constantin for your great efforts!"
"The Legislative Drafting Course gave me a different experience and reorientation to legislative drafting. It is indeed a 'must' experience for every drafter!"
Three drafting course graduates in Abuja, Nigeria,