Designing Effective Legislation
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Designing Effective Legislation

Maria Mousmouti

What is effective legislation? Is it a matter of intuition, luck or the result of evidence based law making? Can it be consciously ‘engineered’? This book advances the novel idea that legislative effectiveness is the result of complex ‘mechanics’ in the conceptualisation, design and drafting of four elements inherent in every law: purpose, content, context and results. It concludes that effectiveness can be achieved with conceptual and methodological insights that guide the specific choices of lawmakers when designing and drafting legislation.
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Chapter 4: Legislation and its context

Maria Mousmouti


The context of legislation is the ‘external’ environment within which legislation will operate. This entails a myriad of obvious or hidden interactions with other legislative texts. Context determines how legislation will integrate the legal system and how it will interact with it. Lawmakers have a number of choices on how to structure legislative messages: as a unique message included in a single Act, as several messages diffused in the legal system, as a fragmented message broken down into smaller portions or as patchwork of messages. Each choice has a distinct impact on the accessibility of the message, its potential to coexist harmoniously with the other elements of the legal system and its potential to produce traceable and measurable results. Effective lawmaking requires conscious choices on the superstructure of legislative texts and in particular on the accessibility and coherence of legislative messages.

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