Office of the Parliamentary Counsel drafting guidance

Guidance for members of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) who are drafting bills to be considered in Parliament.



This publication contains guidance on how to draft bills. It was produced by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for members of that office. The guidance includes:

  • guidance on writing clearly
  • specific wording to use in certain circumstances
  • drafting techniques
  • guidelines on drafting repeals and amendments
  • information about subordinate legislation
Published 2 October 2010
Last updated 18 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. The drafting guidance has been updated - please see the introduction of the guidance for details.

  2. Drafting guidance has been updated.

  3. New guidance uploaded

  4. Updated document to June 2017 version

  5. Updated drafting guidance

  6. Updated to include a new section (5.1) on recommending the use of regulations rather than orders.

  7. Updated guidance.

  8. First published.