Legislative Drafting

Legislative drafting is the communication of the intentions of the legislature to the people. It has become an invaluable communication tool and the bedrock of regulation of different spheres of society. It has also proved to be a useful catalyst for societal changes and development. Legislative drafting is an art that may be learned and skill that may be acquired through practices, mentoring and training.

The Legislative Drafting Department blends a small number of dedicated and experienced drafters with fledgling drafters to promote the rule of law and contribute to achieving justice for the society through the drafting of wide-ranging primary and secondary legislation.

As the central legislative drafting office of The Gambia, the legislative drafting Department specialises in preparing all governent bills in accordance with current best practices in the field.

Before preparing legislation a legislative drafter carries out a rigorous intellectual and legal analysis of the policy that informs it. This meticulous scrunity of the policy requires the drafter to understand the drafting instructions and to clarify the policy through discussions and revisions with the instructing official. In addition, the drafter necessarily researches the legislative framework in which the new law will operate.

Where it is not desirable to legislate, the drafter then advises on alternative ways of achieving policy objectives.

The ultimate goal of the Legislative Drafting Department is to translate policy into laws which are as clear and effective as possible.

Key responsibilities

  • Receive drafting instructions and conduct legal research of legislative proposals.
  • Analyse legislative propsals and advise on policy, legal and constitutional implications.
  • Prepare and vet bills and amend bills.
  • Prepare Cabinet memoranda for policy approval of bills and for bills to be laid before the National Assembly.
  • Attend meetings of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on New Bills, to render legal assistance to the Sub-Committee when it is considering bills.
  • Arrange for the announcement of bills in the gazette and the subsequent printing of these bills by the government for members of the national Assembly
  • Attend sittings of the National Assembly when bills are being presented, to render legal assistance to the Assembly and incorporate amendments made in the bills during th sittings
  • Laise with the government printers for the printing of assent copies of Acts for the President's signature and subsequent publication in the gazette.
  • and vet subsidiary legislation ffor execution by the relevant authority.
  • Arrange for the publication of executed subsidiary legislation in the gazatte.
  • Prepare warrants of appointment of judges for the President's signature
  • Distribute gazette copies of laws to law officers.
  • Advise ministries, departments and agencies in relation to the intepretation of statues, legislative drafting, the legislative process and legal matters generally.
  • Maintain a legislation database to facilitate public access to up-to-date legislation.
  • Represent the Ministry at conferences, seminars and workshops.
  • Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the authorities.

The Attorney General's Chamber, exists to entrench at the core of the body politic and abiding respect for the Rule of Law and a constant observance of human Rights, to ensure equality of access to Justice and treatment before the Law for all citizens, to promote by law social justice to facilitate the operations of a fair, efficient and transparent legal system and to propagate a culture of due process and legality for these purposes. The Ministry acts as the defender of the constitutional order, the guarantor of the rights and liberties of the citizens, the protector of the state legal interest, the enforcer of the criminal laws, the developer of the human resources of the legal sector and the championing of the rule of law.