The Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s Office is responsible for the drafting of legislation for the Government. Before draft legislation can become law, it must be approved by the Cabinet, introduced and passed by Parliament and assented to by the Governor General.
The goal of the Office is to draft a high standard of legislation which is clear and efficacious and can be easily understood by the general public.
Legislation is important because it is the foundation of the rule of law. It governs most aspects of our lives, including our rights and privileges, our livelihood, business activities, the administration of justice and our obligations and responsibilities as citizens.
The Office is a small one, consisting of legal professional staff and administrative support staff. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the Head of the Office and is assisted by a Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel. The legal professional staff also consists of Senior Parliamentary Counsel, Parliamentary Counsel and Legislative Crown Counsel.
Legislative Drafting Services
Legislative drafting services are provided by the Legislative Drafting Section which is headed by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel. This Section is concerned with the drafting of laws, whether new or amended after the Cabinet has given its consent for the policy of the measure. The work load of the Drafting Section is a heavy one as it is concerned with the fast paced drafting of budgetary and other revenue measures to facilitate Government revenue and finances. Other measures requiring the drafting of legislation on a day to day basis relate to the administration of justice, the regulation of business and commerce as well as the general governance of the country. This Section also has responsibility for relatively new areas such as CARICOM matters, double taxation treaties and the sensitization and training of public officers who are unfamiliar with the legislative process. The provision of services to these new areas severely limit the time available for the drafting of legislation.