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Athabasca University

Program Overview

The GDLD program is a 18-credit program (five courses). To receive the diploma, students are required to complete all five courses listed below.

LGST 551: Introduction to Legislative Drafting (3 credits) – Legal Studies 551: Introduction to Legislative Drafting focuses on the nature of legislation and on the steps in preparing legislation in common law jurisdictions, using legislative punctuation and grammar, and drafting legislative sentences. You will develop drafting skills and become familiar with approaches to legislative drafting that are typical in common law jurisdictions.

LGST 553: Legislative Structure, Style and Limits (3 credits) - Students will continue to develop their drafting skills and familiarity with approaches to legislative drafting typical in common law jurisdictions. This course considers the structure and organization of legislative texts, good legislative style and the legal context in which legislation operates in terms of its interpretation and constitutional limits, including fundamental rights and freedoms.

LGST 555: Drafting Preliminary, Amending, and Final Provisions (3 credits) - In Legal Studies 555: Drafting Preliminary, Amending, and Final Provisions, students will apply their developing drafting skills in more complex tasks. This course will focus on provisions that appear at the beginning or end of a legislative text to perform mainly technical functions. Most of these do not contain substantive rules of law. But they play important functions in establishing the authenticity of the legislation, in supporting its operation and use and in ensuring that new legislation is compatible with existing legislation. These provisions include titles, preambles, commencement and duration provisions, interpretation provisions, purpose clauses, application provisions and schedules.

LGST 557: Implementation Provisions and Drafting Processes (3 credits) - Students will rely upon the foundation of drafting skills they have developed in previous courses and will pursue more complex studies linking various elements of legislative drafting into a more holistic legislative framework. This course will focus upon the drafting of compliance and other implementation provisions; delegating powers; and subsidiary legislation. It also considers how the drafter works with clients in the legislative process.

LGST 600: Major Legislative Drafting Project (6 credits) - Students will pursue an autonomous drafting project relying on the foundation of drafting skills they have developed in all previous courses. This course focuses on independent research and legislative drafting. In consultation with the instructor (and an expert legislative drafter from the student's jurisdiction, if required), the student will prepare instructions for a new piece of legislation; prepare an effective legislative plan; and prepare and defend an original piece of legislation, bylaw, or similar drafting-related project.

Updated September 01 2021 by Student & Academic Services

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