Series GR-3890 - Legislative Council drafting legislation case files

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Legislative Council drafting legislation case files

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  • textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the series.

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GR-3890

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  • 1976-1989 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Legislative Council

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Physical description

35.1 m of textual records

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Scope and content

This series consists of drafting of legislation and regulation case files from the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Attorney General, particularly for the years 1979-1984. Most files relate to drafting new or amending existing individual bills, acts, regulations, and orders in council, and include a variety of records used in the drafting process for particular years. The series also includes some correspondence files, subject files, Cabinet Committee on Legislation Records of Decisions, Cabinet Committee Approvals, as well as general operational and administrative records of the office documenting the legislative process, meetings, procedures, training, human resources management, conferences and presentations.

Most legislation and regulation case files each have a two sided structure; however, this structure is not always followed consistently through the files. Records on the left side of the file generally include correspondence and memorandums, while the remaining documents such as acts, regulations, working drafts, reference material and records used in the legislation process are on the right side. These records can include copies of legislation from BC and other jurisdictions, drafts, working copies, amendments to existing legislation and regulations, reference materials used in the drafting and editing process, correspondence from government and third parties interested in changes to legislation, cabinet submissions, notes, bills, requests for new legislation, court judgements, proclamations, orders in council and discussion papers.

These records have been classified as 34200-20 in the Legal Services ORCs (schedule 105050).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, 2016

Arrangement

Files are arranged by file number and named after their relevant legislation or subject. Note that there may be large gaps in file numbers, as files closed at a later date will be transferred in future accessions.

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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

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Future accruals are expected.

General note

Accession number: 90-0187

General note

The processes of drafting legislation and orders in council in relation to these case files are as follows:

Legislative submissions to Cabinet are initiated by ministries in a "request for legislation" (RFL). Ministries send submissions requesting the establishment or amendment of statutes or regulations. A submission is made to Cabinet when Legislative Counsel has prepared and attached written comments on the feasibility of the request.

Once Cabinet approval is given to proposed legislation, and communicated to Legislative Counsel and the ministers the drafting stage begins. Legislative Counsel drafts the legislation in consultation with ministerial officials and relevant experts, and is responsible for setting standards for language, style and format. The length of time required for drafting depends on the complexity of the legislation, the number of unresolved policy issues and the priority of demands for drafting other legislation. The final draft is edited by the legislative editors, who are responsible for consistency of style and format.

First reading introduces a Bill into the Legislative Assembly. When the Bill is called for second reading the sponsoring Minister explains the purpose of the Bill in general terms and the Bill may be debated generally by Members of the Legislative Assembly. If the Bill passes a vote, it proceeds to Committee Stage where a clause by clause debate of the Bill then takes place. The Committee consists of all Members of the Legislature, any of whom may ask questions, seek clarification, and suggest amendments. If the Bill has been amended, a Report Bill is prepared by Legislative Counsel, with annotations (known as "redlining") to indicate changes.

The Bill then proceeds to the Third Reading. A Bill that passes third reading must await formal approval (Royal Assent) by the Lieutenant Governor before it becomes law. A Bill may contain a Commencement provision (usually the last section) which affects the date on which the Bill (or portions of it) actually comes into force.

Legislative Counsel drafts some orders in council (OICs). OICs are always enacted by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under the authority of a particular statute without having first been debated in the Legislative Assembly. They provide the legal basis for the day-to-day operation of the government. They involve expenditures of money, appointing individuals to boards and commissions, proclaiming special events or days, and establishing or amending regulations.

Most of the OICs drafted by Legislative Counsel establish or amend regulations. Legislative Counsel will draft other types of OICs, but only if a ministry is having difficulty. The usual practice is for ministries to draft OICs and send them to Legislative Counsel for review and approval. The Legislative Counsel Services only retains copies of OICs which are drafted by Legislative Counsel. Most of those OICs are regulations. Originals of enacted OICs are retained by Order in Council Administration, and copies are retained by individual ministries.

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