News story

Cabinet Office to publish guidance about producing legislation

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has published its internal guidance on aspects of legislation and the Parliamentary process.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, which is part of the Cabinet Office, has today announced the publication of its internal guidance on aspects of legislation and the Parliamentary process.

This builds on the publication of Parliamentary Counsel’s drafting guidance and the Cabinet Office’s guidance to departments about the process of creating primary legislation (called the Guide to Making Legislation).

Over the next few months a series of pamphlets will be published for the first time. The first batch, published today, is Parliamentary Counsel’s guidance on:

  • The Queen’s and Prince’s Consent (the Parliamentary rule requiring consent to be obtained, before a Bill is passed, if a Bill affects the Royal prerogative or certain other interests).
  • Crown Application (the law on whether or not a particular piece of legislation applies to the Crown).
  • Carrying over bills (the procedure by which a Bill may start its Parliamentary passage in one session and conclude in the following session).

Further guidance is under preparation, and will be published soon.

Richard Heaton, First Parliamentary Counsel and the Cabinet Office’s Permanent Secretary, said:

Parliamentary Counsel are passionate about laws that are well written, straightforward, and accessible to citizens. We also want to help people learn about how legislation is prepared, and how Parliament considers it. I hope these publications will bring light to a subject that has often appeared more obscure than it ought to be.

Andrew Lansley, Leader of the House of Commons said:

We are seeking to make Parliament more accessible and this information about how legislation is prepared will complement that and enhance public understanding of law-making. I very much welcome this OPC initiative.

The guidance will be published at


Published 9 January 2013