New Zealand Law Society - Laws that are ‘easier to find, use and understand’

Laws that are ‘easier to find, use and understand’

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Chief Parliamentary Counsel Fiona Leonard has announced that the Government is seeking feedback on its next three-year statute revision programme.

The Acts on the programme have been selected because they are old, expressed in outdated language, or heavily amended. In some cases, rules on a single topic are scattered across several Acts, making them difficult to find.

“The Acts will be rewritten in plain, modern language and in our current drafting style and format. The result will be law that will be easier to find, use, and understand”, says Ms Fiona Leonard. 

Before a revision bill is introduced into Parliament, certification is required that the statutory revision powers have been exercised properly and that the bill does not change the substance of the law.    

The first revision bill, now the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017, was enacted in March.  It contains 12 revised Acts setting out general rules about contracts and commercial transactions.  The new Act has just won the 2017 WriteMark Best Plain English Legal Document award.

The revision programme is available on the Parliamentary Counsel Office website.

Submissions are due by 5pm on Friday, 26 January 2018 and can be emailed to, attn: the revision programme team.