Current GDLD Students

Graduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting

General Information

The Graduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting program provides an in-depth analysis of the principles underlying legislative drafting in common law jurisdictions and a thorough introduction to sound drafting practice. It is based on materials produced by the Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. The program materials are relevant to all jurisdictions using the parliamentary system and its legislative processes.

The Diploma will enable students to undertake their own drafting duties with greater skill and confidence. Students will be connected with a skilled peer group and an expert instructor, and they will work in independent study in their own jurisdictions. Additionally, students will participate in online drafting workshops, exercises, and discussions. This program is ideal for individuals early in their drafting career, those wishing to enter a drafting career, and individuals from all levels of government and non-governmental agencies or departments involved in planning and writing laws, bylaws, policies, and similar material. Most government drafting offices require their legislative counsel to have a law (JD or LLB) degree, and some also require them to be admitted to the practice of law in the jurisdiction they serve. The Graduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting therefore would not be a sufficient qualification on its own for employment in those offices.

Athabasca University has partnered with the Legal Education Society of Alberta in providing the Graduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting as a professional development opportunity for Alberta Lawyers. For more information see the Continuing Professional Development website:

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Program applications will be received and reviewed on a continuous admission basis.

Courses begin the first day of every month, on a year-round basis. Registration requests must be received by the GDLD Administration Office at least one month prior to the requested start date.

"Let all the laws be clear, uniform and precise. To interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them." — Voltaire

News and Events

The ACU provides a range of opportunities to engage with like-minded individuals and universities to learn about, discuss, and tackle the key issues in higher education today. Below is a round-up of such opportunities, for your benefit.

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The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice establishes the President’s Award and names a first recipient - Montreal- October 13, 2016 

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Student Contingency: Fort McMurray Wildfire

The diploma program welcomed one of its students, Susan Jarvis from Antigua and Barbuda, to Edmonton recently when she attended the Athabasca University Graduate Students Conference.

Susan's presentation is available for viewing here.

The Graduate Diploma Program in Legislative Drafting at Athabasca University is pleased to announce the launch of four open access courses

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The Graduate Diploma Program in Legislative Drafting hosted an online "webinar" on drafting techniques in order to help promote the program across Canada.

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Updated July 02 2019 by Student & Academic Services