Legislative Drafting

The functions of this Division are primarily drawn from Article 156 of the Constitution which designates the Attorney-General as the principal legal adviser to the Government.  This includes the provision of legislative drafting services to the Government.  The role is more specifically stated in section 5 (1) of the Office of the Attorney-General Act, 2012 (No. 49 of 2012), which enumerates the functions of the Office of the Attorney–General as including-

“(c) drafting legislative drafting proposals for the Government and advising the Government and its agencies on legislative and other legal matters.”

This mandate is executed through the Legislative Drafting Division of the Office of the Attorney-General.


Role in Relation to Counties

The role of the Department in relation to county governments is limited by section 5 of the County Governments Act, 2012 (No. 17 of 2012) which provides that in the development or reform of county legislation, county governments may seek assistance from the Kenya Law Reform Commission.  Nonetheless, as the principal legal adviser to the Government, this office retains a residual oversight role over the legislative activities of county governments and has continued to provide guidance to county governments by facilitating the development of model laws for adoption by county governments.  It also provides legal advice (mainly on legislative matters) that were requested by any county government.

Functions

  • Drafting of Bills, subsidiary legislation, notices of appointments to offices in the public service, State Corporations and constitutional offices.
  • Ensuring publication of Acts of Parliament and subsidiary legislation in the Kenya Gazette.
  • Ensuring revision of laws under the Revision of Laws Act (Cap 1).
  • Advising Government Ministries/Departments and State Corporations on legislative and other legal matters.
  • Attending to passage of Bills in Parliament and assisting in the preparation of vellum copies of Bills for assent by the President.

Activities of the Division

The activities of the Department are to:

  • Draft Bills for introduction into the National Assembly/Senate.
  • Draft prioritized Bills for the implementation on the Constitution.
  • Draft subsidiary legislation.
  • Prepare Acts of Parliament and subsidiary legislation for publication.
  • Communicate legal advice upon receipt of information and documentation from client.
  • Participate in preparation of National Budget (Finance Bill).
  • Participate in law reform exercises initiated by the Attorney-General or by other Ministries and draft the requisite legislation as and when required.
  • Monitor and track Bills before Parliament or county assembles and bring them to the attention of the Attorney-General for review, legal advice or contribution, as the case may be.
  • Prepare advisory opinions on the propriety or otherwise of Bills for assent.
  • Participate in the  preparation of legislation and other legal instruments for the East African Community.
  • Guide and assist the National Council for Law Reporting in carrying out law revision on behalf of the Attorney General.
  • Provide support to the Kenya Law Reform Commission in the development of model laws for adoption by county governments.