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Designing Effective Legislation

Maria Mousmouti, Lecturer in Law, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, UK and Executive Director, Centre for European Constitutional Law, Greece
What is effective legislation? Is it a matter of intuition, luck or the result of evidence based law making? Can it be consciously ‘engineered’? This book advances the novel idea that legislative effectiveness is the result of complex ‘mechanics’ in the conceptualisation, design and drafting of four elements inherent in every law: purpose, content, context and results. It concludes that effectiveness can be achieved with conceptual and methodological insights that guide the specific choices of lawmakers when designing and drafting legislation.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78811 822 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Public International Law
  • Regulation and Governance
What is effective legislation? Can lawmakers around the world improve the effectiveness of their laws? And if yes, how? Designing Effective Legislation analyses legislative effectiveness in theory and practice and concludes that effective laws can be engineered through the use of particular design and drafting techniques.

Employing a clear and logical structure, the author demonstrates that four elements, that exist in every law, are paramount to effectiveness: purpose, content, context and results. A clear purpose sets a benchmark for what a law aims to achieve; well designed and communicated content ensures that the law has the mechanics required to achieve the desired results; laws that integrate harmoniously the legal system ensure coherence and the lack of contradiction; and results determine what has been achieved and whether this corresponds to initial intentions. By examining these four elements in unity and addressing the particular challenges involved in their design and drafting, lawmakers can secure the basic foundations of an effective law.

Providing an in in-depth analysis of the concept of legislative effectiveness this book will be relevant to academics and researchers working in the fields of legislative studies, theory of law, regulation and the sociology of law but also to legal practitioners, policy makers and legislative drafters involved in the design or reform of legislation worldwide.
‘This inspiring book takes the perspective of lawmakers, which is so often ignored in the effectiveness debate. It is an approach that accounts for a fresh view on a topical debate in legislative studies. Combining doctrinal knowledge with practical insights, this is a most welcome contribution to theory and practice.’
– Patricia Popelier, University of Antwerp, Belgium

‘Legislation is central in the law. However, its study has not fully acquired the position it deserves within legal scholarship. Maria Mousmouti makes a fundamental contribution to filling this gap. Designing Effective Legislation does not only tackle the construction of effective legislation, with her idea of “mechanics”, Mousmouti sets a pivotal step in the legislative studies, by offering an innovative and intriguing analytical tool to penetrate and understand the often confusing and blurred world of legislative law-making.’
– Mauro Zamboni, Stockholm University, Sweden

‘With this topical book Mousmouti addresses the elephant in the room of modern government. Legislation is the instrument of choice in modern governance and politics – it is used as a heal-all in modern day policy approaches. But what do we actually know about the effectiveness and overall efficacy of legislation? Very little, this book shows. Dr. Mousmouti’s takes us by the hand and shows us the way legislation works, the values it represents, and the things we need to consider if we want legislation to do what we actually designed and enacted it for: to work.’
– Wim Voermans, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Contents: 1. The ‘mechanics’ of effective legislation 2. Legislation and its purpose 3. The content of legislation 4. Legislation and its context 5. The implementation of the law: results, impact and effectiveness 6. Which tools for effective lawmaking? 7. Legislative failure 8. On lawmakers, lawmaking and effectiveness Bibliography Index