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List of seminars on quality of legislation organised by the Commission Legal Revisers Group

 

Quality of legislation - EU Legislative Drafting: Views from those applying EU law in the Member States

3 July 2014

9.00 to 13.00 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (GASP), Charlemagne building, Rue de la loi, Brussels

Poster  and Programme Programme

Available documents:

Presentation pdf document and speech pdf document by Ms Anne-Marie Hasselrot
Speech pdf document by Mr Justice Gerard Hogan
Presentation pdf document and speech English magyar pdf document by Ms Katalin Gombos
Speech pdf document by Mr Roberto Baratta

 

 

Quality of legislation - Ensuring the quality of drafting of legislation in a multilingual context – Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta

20 September 2013

9.00 to 13.00 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (GASP), Charlemagne building, Rue de la loi, Brussels

Programme 

Available documents:

Presentation pdf document and speech pdf document by Mr Vanni Bruno
Presentation pdf document and speech pdf document by Mr Marc Besch
Presentation pdf document by Christiane Mangen

Registration:

Video registration

 

 

Quality of legislation - Poland

9 December 2011 

10.00 to 13.00 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (GASP), Charlemagne building,
Rue de la loi, Brussels

Programme  and Summary 

Available documents:

Presentation  by Mr Marek Zubik
Presentation  by Mr Wiesław Staśkiewicz
Presentation  by Mr Maciej Berek
Presentation  and speech  by Ms Anna Dumas

Audio registration:

audio registration

 

 

Quality of legislation - Hungary

22 June 2011 

09.15 to 13.00 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (GASP), Charlemagne building, Rue de la loi, Brussels

Programme 

 

 

Quality of legislation - Transparency and the Judicial Process of the EU: Making the System Work Better

11 October 2010 

10.15 to 12.30 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (GASP), Charlemagne building,
Rue de la loi, Brussels

Lecturer: Eleanor Sharpston, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union
Programme 

 

 

Quality of legislation - The interpretation of EU law in a context of political, social and cultural pluralism

12 June 2009 

12.00 to 13.00 hrs

Alcide de Gasperi room (S3), Charlemagne building,
Rue de la loi, Brussels

Lecturer: Prof. Poiares Maduro, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice
Programme 

 

 

Quality of legislation - Views from the Czech Republic

30 January 2009

Participants: some 200

Duration: 4 hours

Programme 

Introduction by Dr Pavel Svoboda, Minister of the Government, Chairman of the Legislative Council, who stressed the importance of legislation and lawmaking to a democratic society. He pointed out that the legitimacy of laws depends on the approval process and, in the light of developments in EU procedures, concluded that charges of a democratic deficit can no longer be levelled against the EU. Text cetina English .

Dr Jan Kysela, Professor at Charles University, Secretary of the Standing Senate Commission on the Constitution and Parliamentary Procedures and member of the Working Commission on Administrative Law of the Legislative Council, spoke on the quality of law-making in the Czech Republic, which he described as a never-ending story of trials and setbacks. He emphasised the need for rules to guarantee quality and for mechanisms to enforce respect of those rules. It is no easy matter to maintain the consistency and stability of laws, particularly with the current high volume of new legislation. Speaking notes cetina  and slides English .

Dr Jakub Camrda, Judge of the Supreme Administrative Court, gave a judicial perspective on the quality of Community and national legislation. He recalled that Czech judges had first had to familiarise themselves with EU law and the European Court of Justice's approach to interpreting it, including the need to look at different language versions and to read between the lines. Law is growing in complexity, partly because of its increasingly polycentric nature. It is a challenge to maintain legal certainty and ensure that law is foreseeable for users in the face of a "legislative typhoon" from the EU. Text cetina .

Dr Markéta Whelanová, Deputy Director of the Department for Compatibility with EC Law, the Office of the Government, explained how EU law is implemented in the Czech legal order and discussed some of the problems that arise. The task of implementing EU law is decentralised but the Department for Compatibility with EC Law coordinates the work. It has issued Methodical Instructions for the organisation of work when meeting the legislative obligations ensuing from the membership of the Czech Republic in the EU and seeks to ensure that those instructions are followed. The piecemeal nature of much of EU legislation poses problems because of the multiplicity of acts in one sector and dangers of inconsistency. Particular aspects of drafting technique that need attention include consistent use of terminology, identifying clearly the scope of acts in the articles (not the recitals) and the careful use of references to other provisions or other acts. Slides cetina English .

Mr Jaroslav Šuchman, Head of the European Union Unit, Foreign Relations Department of the Senate Chancellery, explained national parliaments' involvement in the making of EU law and argued that it served to prevent the breaking of EU law. The participation of the parliaments of the Member States in EU law making was first recognised in the Amsterdam Treaty Protocol on the role of the national parliaments in the EU but a major step forward was the "Barroso Initiative" of September 2006 under which the Commission sends all its legislative proposals and communication documents directly to all national parliaments for their reactions. The feedback enables the Commission to take account of national views in its proposals, which may improve the quality of the laws themselves and certainly means that they are easy to implement and that they gain greater acceptance. Speaking notes English  and slides English .

 

Quality of legislation - Views from Slovenia

25 January 2008

Participants: some 160

Duration: 4 hours

Programme 

 Photos

Introduction by Mr Janez Potočnik, Member of the European Commission, who stressed the importance of high-quality legislation. Inherent in the EU's Better Regulation programme is a change of culture to ensure that all the factors essential to good regulation are taken into account.
Dr Janez Pogorelec, Director of the Government Service for Legislation, explained the Slovenian approach to quality of legislation, putting it in its historical context. He referred to the challenge of integrating EU law and national law. Slides 
Ms Barbara Vrečko, Head of Division for European affairs and the Computerisation of Legislative Procedures in the Government Service for Legislation, explained the harmonisation and transposition process in Slovenia. Extensive use is made of an electronic database and electronic transmission systems to make the process effective and efficient. Slides 
Ms Katarina Kralj, Senior Legal Adviser in the Legislative and Legal Service of the National Assembly, set out the role of that service. Its duties include: giving opinions on draft laws, revising parliamentary amendments, verifying the final texts of laws, and producing consolidated texts of laws that have been amended. Slides 
Ms Renata Zatler, Head of Department for Public Administration Process and Reducing Administrative Burdens in the Ministry of Public Administration, emphasised the importance of communication with stakeholders in reducing administrative burdens and simplifying legislation. A key element in the Slovenian process is the involvement of business, of external experts and of the citizen. A programme is under way to identify and reduce administrative burdens resulting from legislation, in particular from gold-plating of EU rules. Slides 

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Quality of legislation - Views from Switzerland

19 October 2007 

Participants: some 200

Duration: 4 hours 

Programme 

 Photos 

Introduction by Manuela Guggeis, Head of the Legal Revisers Group in the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union, who outlined the new approach being taken in the Council to the challenge of improving the quality of European legislation.
Professor Georg Müller, Zurich University, spoke of the general principles of legislation and the crucial importance of a methodical approach to its preparation. Text  Deutsch
Professor Alexandre Flückiger, Geneva University, traced the historical roots of the study of legislative technique in Switzerland and emphasised the concern for laws to be clear and accessible to all. Text  Deutsch
Marcus Nußbaumer, Head of the Linguistic Service in the Federal Chancellery, explained the Swiss approach to multilingual drafting and the role of the administrative drafting committee. He also gave examples of problems resulting from incorporating European legislation in Swiss law.
Luzius Mader, Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, showed the various forms in which legislation is published in Switzerland and gave details of the project to update Swiss federal legislation.

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Quality of legislation - Views from Portugal

28 June 2007 

Participants: some 175

Duration: 3 hours 

 Programme 

Introduction by Dr Mário Tenreiro, Head of the Institutional Issues Unit in the Secretariat General of the European Commission, who spoke of the particular challenge of maintaining the quality of European legislation which has to be adapted to different cultures and acceptable to 27 Member States.
Dr António Duarte de Almeida, Principal Adviser at the Centre for Legal Studies in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Portugal, traced the various stages in the legislative process in Portugal and explained the formal requirements in place. He drew comparisons with the EU codecision procedure.
Dr Alexandre Sousa Pinheiro, Principal Adviser at the Centre for Legal Studies in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Portugal explained the work being undertaken in Portugal to simplify and codify legislation to make it more accessible and to reduce administrative burdens. It is first necessary to take stock of existing legislation and categorise it before steps can be taken to condense it.
Dr André Miranda, Deputy to the State Secretary for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Portugal explained the history and content of the Portuguese Better Law-Making Programme. Major efforts have recently been initiated to reform radically all aspects of the legislative process.

Summary report 

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Quality of legislation - German views

30 March 2007

 Participants: over 200 

Duration: 3.5 hours

Programme Deutsch English 

Introduction by Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Fischer Boel, who mentioned in particular the conclusions of the European Council on Better Regulation, the problems specific to Community legislation and the work to simplify agricultural legislation. Speaking notes  Deutsch
Ministerialdirigent Dr. Erich Milleker, Head of the Better Regulation Task Force in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, traced the history of efforts to improve regulation in Germany, focusing on the role of regulatory review and impact assessments. He pointed out that, after a comparatively late start, Better Regulation was now being given high priority in Germany. Text  Deutsch
Ministerialdirigent Dr. Klaus Abmeier, Head of Directorate IVa in Directorate-General IV: Constitutional and Administrative Law; International and European Law in the Federal Ministry of Justice, explained how the Ministry of Justice contributed to good drafting and simplification of legislation in Germany. He showed all the structures that are in place but stressed that producing good legislation always required enough time.
Text  Deutsch and slides 
Regierungsrat Dr. Dominik Böllhoff, of the Regulatory Reform Unit in the Federal Chancellery, emphasised the value of exchanging views and ensuring transparency to forging an interdisciplinary approach to Better Regulation and reducing bureaucracy. Measurement of administrative costs is a key tool in acting effectively. Presentation 

Summary report 

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Make it simple and understandable – Finnish views on the quality of law drafting

26 October 2006

Participants: some 240

Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Mr Karl-Johan Lönnroth, Director General of the Commission Translation DG: "Quality of Law and Translation: a common cause". Presentation 
Mr Pekka Nurmi, Director General and Head of the Law Drafting Department in the Ministry of Justice, recalled the influence of history on the role of law in Finland where traditionally legislators adopt clear laws which command respect by the citizens. Recent focus on Better Regulation has led to closer coordination of the legislative process, with the Ministry of Justice providing drafting training and guidance and greater emphasis on broad consultation and conduct of impact assessments. Presentation 
Bill Drafting Instructions (HELO) (English version)
Ms Kirsi Pimiä
, Counsel to the Grand Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, explained the system of parliamentary scrutiny of legislation. For draft EU measures the system ensures that the government does not commit itself before Parliament can take a position. Records and documents are rapidly made available to the public on the Internet. Presentation 
Booklet on Parliamentary scrutiny
Ms Aino Piehl
, Senior researcher at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, traced the role of the institute in drawing up rules and guidance on language use. In Finland particular emphasis is laid on making legal language understandable and linguists have made a substantial contribution to that goal. Presentation 

Summary report 

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Quality of legislation: Legislative drafting in Spain

9 June 2006

 Participants: 279 

 Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Ms Claire-Françoise Durand, Deputy Director-General of the Commission Legal Service: “What is meant by quality of legislation and better regulation?”  français
Professor Miquel Martín Casals, of the University of Girona, President of the Legislative Drafting Study Group (GRETEL), traced the history of legislative drafting in Spain over the last 20 years and explained the role of the Guidelines for legislative drafting and checklists.
Dr Emilio Jiménez Aparicio, former Director General of the Legal Services and Abogado del Estado, looked at legislative drafting tools and the lawmaking process in Spain. The quality of first drafts is very important because later in the legislative process it becomes more difficult to make changes for the sake of improving technical quality.
Dr Francisco Caamaño Domínguez, Secretary of State for relations with the Congress and Senate and Professor of Constitutional Law spoke of the link between the quality of legislative acts and governance. Government has responsibility for giving adequate information about its laws and ensuring that the lawmaking process is transparent. Laws must be framed in clear and accessible language and well structured to serve as a channel of communication with the citizen.

Summary report 

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Quality of legislation: Estonian perspectives

11 October 2005

 Participants: 251 

 Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Mr Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the Commission
Dr Julia Laffranque, Judge of the Supreme Court, spoke of Estonia’s experiences as a Member State in transposing, applying and interpreting Community law. She highlighted the importance of good legislation and mentioned some of the problems encountered by Estonian courts in interpreting Community legislation.
Ms Karmen Vilms, Head of the Legislative Drafting Bureau in the Ministry of Justice, explained how Estonia makes sure that its legislation is of good quality. The process involves close consultation of all interested circles and work by lawyers and linguists under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice. The involvement of linguists in the process underlines the importance attached to language matters.
Mr Aare Kasemets, adviser at the Environment Ministry, traced the development of the concern for better regulation back to the 1970s. Presentation 

Summary report 

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The application of Community law: Challenges facing a common-law system

2 July 2004

Participants: 289

Duration: 3.5 hours

Ms Anne Lambert, UK Deputy Permanent Representative, put improving the quality of Community legislation in the context of efforts to promote Better Regulation and introduced the four Presidencies’ Joint Initiative on Regulatory Reform.
Mr Philip Bovey, Legal Director at the Department of Trade and Industry, considered whether it is more difficult for a common-law system to apply Community law. Drawing on a report produced for the UK Foreign Office in 2003, he compared the approach to legislative drafting in the UK with the way Community legislation is drafted and looked at different approaches to implementing Community directives. Outline of the talk 
Lady Justice Arden, of the Court of Appeal, considered the English courts’ approach to interpreting domestic and European legislation and its evolution. Citing problems caused by poor drafting, she stressed the importance of producing a clear text that does not need to be litigated.

Summary report 

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Quality of EC legislation and ways to improve it

25 November 2003 

 Participants: 106 

 Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Professor Pieter-Jan Kuiper, Principal Legal Adviser in the Commission Legal Service
Professor Dr Wim Voermans, professor in constitutional and administrative law at the University of Leiden, spoke in English on “Quality of EC legislation and ways to improve it”. He looked at the standards for good legislation and the problems resulting from bad legislation and considered remedial measures taken in the Netherlands and in Europe, focusing in particular on training. Presentation 
Mr. Willem Konijnenbelt, President of section at the Raad van State and professor at the University of Amsterdam, spoke in French on “What is legislative quality about: universal standards for good legislation”. He analysed the formal and substantive criteria for the quality of legislation, drawing in part on research in the Netherlands but also on materials from other countries.

Summary report 

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How to interpret legislation which is equally authentic in twenty languages

20 October 2003

Participants: 250

Duration: 1.5 hours

Introduction by Mr Frank Benyon, Principal Legal Adviser in the Commission Legal Service
Advocate General Francis Jacobs of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) spoke of the ECJ’s approach to interpreting Community legislation. He analysed the particular features of that legislation, which is multilingual and the product of a complex negotiation process, and described how the ECJ’s methods of interpretation address the difficulties that arise.

Summary report 

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La qualité de la législation: l’expérience canadienne

23 October 2002 

 Participants: 80 

 Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Mr Giuliano Marenco, Deputy Director-General of the Commission Legal Service
Mr André Labelle, head of the Jurilinguists Service in the Canadian Ministry of Justice, spoke on the legislative drafting process in Canada, in particular codrafting in two languages, involving both legal drafters and jurilinguists. The quality of drafting is safeguarded by a range of political and legal rules and language guidance. Text  français and slides

Summary report  français

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Quality of legislation: The Swedish view

27 September 2002 

 Participants: 120 

 Duration: 3.5 hours

Introduction by Mr Giuliano Marenco, Deputy Director-General of the Commission Legal Service
Mr Gustaf Sandström, Judge of the Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden and Member of the Council on Legislation, gave his view on Community legislation from his experiences as a judge hearing many cases involving Community legislation, as chairman of a Council Working group, as reviser of draft acts in the Swedish Council on Legislation and as a drafter of legislation in the Ministry of Finance.
Mrs Barbro Ehrenberg-Sundin, Senior Adviser in the Division for Legal and Linguistic Draft Revision at the Swedish Ministry of Justice and a member of the Working Party on Clear Language, spoke on the Swedish legislative process and the role of her Division in that process as well as in offering linguistic support to staff in the Community institutions and to Swedish officials in Community working groups. She also reported on Sweden’s views on the Community’s efforts to improve its legislation and explained what the Plain Swedish Group does. Text 

Summary report 

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Last updated on 2.09.2014


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