Legislative Design - Clarifying the Legislative Porridge

Andrew Godwin, Vivienne Brand, Rosemary Teele Langford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Legislative design directly affects the clarity, coherence and navigability of legislation. It is therefore of critical importance to regulated persons and entities as they seek to comply with legislative requirements, and to regulators and courts as they seek to interpret and apply them. Calls over many years for legislation governing corporate and financial services law in Australia to be simplified were reinforced by the Financial Services Royal Commission Final Report of 2019. The report recommended that, as far as possible, exceptions and qualifications to generally applicable norms of conduct be eliminated and that legislation identify expressly the fundamental norms of behaviour in respect of rules. These calls recently culminated in the commencement of a review into the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation by the Australian Law Reform Commission. This article examines the context behind these calls and engages with the ongoing debate about legislative design and simplification of law. In addition to outlining the issues, the article provides the context for the articles that follow in this Special Issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-295
Number of pages16
JournalCompany and Securities Law Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Legislative design
  • regulated persons and entities
  • legislative requirements
  • Financial Services Royal Commission Final Report of 2019
  • Australian Law Reform Commission
  • debate about legislative design and simplification of law


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