Chapter 3: The content of legislation
Every law comes with a ‘formula’ that determines how objectives and expected results will be achieved. Designing the content of the law is the ‘heart’ of lawmaking: lawmakers confer rights or establish obligations, make decisions on enforcement and implementation procedures and mechanisms, decide how to incentivise compliance, and communicate the messages of the law. How can they anticipate what is most likely to work best? Legislative design is key to effective lawmaking: it allows sufficient space to compose the broader picture, sketch the overall logic of the law and identify the appropriate mechanics before going into minuscule detail. Effective content requires a clear legislative strategy, mechanics informed by evidence and experience, active anticipation of compliance, enforcement and implementation, clear messages and openness to experimentation.
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