Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Legislation
This new Garner title consolidates into one set of covers all the best advice on legislative drafting. Garner elucidates his blackletter principles with statutory rewrites from all 50 states as well as from federal statutes. He demonstrates how legislation can be streamlined, simplified, and clarified. The examples show stunning improvements.
Commissioned by the Uniform Law Commission, Garner’s work here represents another in his string of first-rate reference books. No legislative drafter should be without it.
In the back of the book are two model statutes plus a typically poor statute annotated to explain its deficiencies. Also included is a groundbreaking essay on the optimal method for expressing criminal prohibitions.
Throughout the book appear shaded boxes containing timeless quotations from leading commentators on legislative drafting from the 18th century to the present day. Together with the book’s extensive bibliography, these quotations place Garner’s principles into a historical context. They also underscore the degree to which legislative drafters have neglected many long-standing principles of legal drafting.
The foreword by Harriet Lansing, president of the Uniform Law Commission, says of Garner’s work: “With these Guidelines—and with his earlier booklet on court rules—Bryan Garner has made an incomparable contribution to clarity and coherence in the halls of our legislatures, the pages of our statute books, and the everyday world of all people as we try to plan our lives and predict legal consequences.”