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Thread: government one step at a time

  1. #1 government one step at a time 
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    currently, many bills pass into law (including budgets) in booklets up to thousands of pages. hundreds of provisions exist within just one bill, sometimes consisting of provisions not directly or indirectly related to the primary provisions or bill's focus/main objective.

    should government change this practice?

    should govt. pass bills one provision at a time; having a limit on pages allowed in a bill, allowing new provisions to be included in the future under a previous bill name (e.g. provision A included in TOM act passed years prior), etc.?


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    currently, many bills pass into law (including budgets) in booklets up to thousands of pages. hundreds of provisions exist within just one bill, sometimes consisting of provisions not directly or indirectly related to the primary provisions or bill's focus/main objective.

    should government change this practice?

    should govt. pass bills one provision at a time; having a limit on pages allowed in a bill, allowing new provisions to be included in the future under a previous bill name (e.g. provision A included in TOM act passed years prior), etc.?
    Great idea - how would you implement it?


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  4. #3  
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    should govt. pass bills one provision at a time; having a limit on pages allowed in a bill, allowing new provisions to be included in the future under a previous bill name (e.g. provision A included in TOM act passed years prior), etc.?
    All bills which are intimately related to previous provisions always mention those provisions. Whether they're in the form of a rescission or revocation of the whole thing or merely an amendment to the words of a sub-clause.

    I don't see how having tens of thousands of individual acts of parliament is any improvement on having tens of thousands of paragraphs in fewer enactments. Would you require all these individual bills to restate the definitions used in the related laws or would you have to include - as defined in such and such an Act - wherever that is required? The main problem with laws as enacted for a reader or a lawyer are familiarity and indexing/ filing, referencing and keeping yourself up to date. Up to date doesn't mean just keeping up with the parliament, it means ensuring that Every Single Week you check up on all the relevant court and tribunal decisions that have any link with the laws that you're expected to work with. All Of Them. It might take you a couple of hours, it might take a day. But you have to do it.

    It's a whole lot easier to have the definitions and exemptions and exclusions set out at the beginning of an enactment, so that everything that follows is within the boundaries set by those definitions and exclusions. Otherwise you'll be obliged to write in heaps and heaps of unless ... clauses into every related bill.

    I have often found when dealing with clients, and with staff who had no legal background, that they presumed that anyone and everyone should be able to read a piece of legislation and understand it without assistance - and interpret it correctly into the bargain. It doesn't work like that.

    Otherwise we wouldn't need lawyers and we wouldn't need public servants. We do need them. Because it's really, really hard sometimes. (Especially when some clown tries to convince a room full of people that the words of the law mean whatever he thinks they mean and that we can happily ignore 30 years of judicial consideration of the words and the issues because "it's really simple". It isn't. Even when it should be, it isn't.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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