Drafting Legislation in Hong Kong
Download PDF

“Drafting Legislation in Hong Kong — A Guide to Styles and Practices” is a collection of guidelines for drafting Hong Kong laws. It is compiled by counsel of the Law Drafting Division of the Department of Justice, who draft all Government legislation.

The Guide provides a useful insight into the styles and practices adopted in the drafting of Government Bills and subsidiary legislation. It is informative and practical and explains drafting styles and practices in general terms, illustrating them with hundreds of examples. It provides valuable guidelines on drafting issues from the arrangement of provisions to writing in plain language. Among the many questions it answers are—

Understanding the considerations that go into the design and writing of legislation enhances access to the law. With this in mind, the Guide aims to facilitate a clearer understanding of the law by statute users and to promote uniformity in drafting practices across both government and non-government legislation in Hong Kong.

The Guide was published by the Department of Justice in 2012. With the discontinuation of the Bilingual Laws Information System (BLIS) in July 2018, there have been changes to the publication of consolidated legislation as described in the Guide. In brief, the Hong Kong e-Legislation (HKeL) is now the only official database of Hong Kong legislation. Verified copies of legislation published on the HKeL have legal status under the Legislation Publication Ordinance (Cap. 614). The Loose-leaf Edition of the Laws of Hong Kong is being phased out as the verification project progresses. Please see "What is Hong Kong e-Legislation" and "FAQ" for more information on the transitional arrangements.

Contact us

Comments on the Guide are most welcome. They may be sent to: ldd@doj.gov.hk.