What are the notes for?
3 Explanatory notes are not intended to be an exhaustive description of the bill or to be a substitute for it. Their purpose is to make the bill accessible to readers who may not be legally qualified or have specialised knowledge of the subject area.
4 Explanatory notes are a vital part of the overall bill package, whether a bill is being introduced into Parliament or published in draft for consultation or pre-legislative scrutiny.
Good explanatory notes can:
· assist in communicating the department’s messages about the bill;
· result in more valuable feedback from the consultation or pre-legislative scrutiny process;
· assist in the passage of a bill through Parliament;
(after enactment of a bill when the notes will become explanatory notes to the resulting Act) help members of the public to understand the law as it applies to them.
5 Good explanatory notes can achieve these outcomes by putting a bill into context, explaining what is not apparent from the provisions of the bill itself and giving examples of how the bill will operate in practice. They can answer the reader’s questions and prevent misconceptions.
6 Explanatory notes that merely repeat, in slightly different words, what is said in the bill are not helpful.