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Subject: RE : [legaldocml] Finding the Right Term for "Resolutions" and Un-Official Laws

Dear Grant,


I am not a a legal expert, but I have some difficulty to adapt the schema you propose to my own experience :

  • I don't understand the need to first separate the "amendment" and and the "resolution". 
    In the EU legislation , the amendment is not a specific document type (except during the approbation phase of a "bill").  An "amending act" is first an act (directive, ...) that contains modification on other act, and it follows the same procedure as the other acts.
  • I dont understand very well the structure you propose and how it can be map into the EU legislation structure (see hereafter).
  • Personnally, I don't agree with the term "resolution" because in the EU nomenclature, it has a very specific sense (it is only one of the "atypical act" in the classification hereafter)
  • Personnally, I don't agree with the term "draft" as it is one of the terms that can be used for naming a drafting act (other are "motion", "proposal", ...)
  • I don't understand the difference between "draft" and "bill"
  • In the EU, there is a "codification procedure", as well as a "recasting procedure" that can affect regulation, directive or decision but the result is a new act (replacing others one), not a "code".


Kind regards


Véronique Parisse


A common classification of the European Legislation


-         primary law (the founding Treaties)

-         Secondary law.  

o       Unilateral acts :

§         regulations, directives, decisions, opinions and recommendations;  Some of these acts can be "amending acts".  I think that opinions and recommendations are not binding.

§         "atypical" acts.       
- relate to the internal organisation (ex. Rules of procedure)
- specific to an EU institutions in the context of its own activity.
For the European Parliament,
resolutions or declarations or decision.
For the Council,
conclusions, resolutions or guidelines.
They have general application but don't have binding effect.

o       agreements

§         international agreements, ;

§         agreements between Member States and

§         interinstitutional agreements.


During the drafting phase, this act is initially a "proposal" or a "draft" or a "motion" ..., depending on his nature and on the institution that propose the first version. 

And the drafting interinstitutional procedure, the document can evolve in a "position of <an institution> in the view to adopt" or a "Parliament-Council Joint text" ...

De : legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org [legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org] de la part de Grant Vergottini [grant.vergottini@xcential.com]
Date d'envoi : mercredi 13 février 2013 5:22
À : legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org
Objet : [legaldocml] Finding the Right Term for "Resolutions" and Un-Official Laws

Inline image 1
I have prepared this simple diagram to describe the documents I come across as I travel from one jurisdiction to another. It is not a California Diagram or even a US diagram. It represents what I have come across in my most recent work. I am surprised by its consistency from Hong Kong to the US Congress. The words might differ in one way or another, but by an large, the concepts are all quite similar. Simple research on Wikipedia seemed to be in agreement with this too.
The boxes in green represent where I believe there are holes with Akoma Ntoso. In all cases I have come across, drafts are written as bills or resolutions rather than as "drafts". Because they're not published as drafts, there is little need for a <draft> tag. The UK might beg to differ though.
I think that there is a misplaced worry over the term Resolution - perhaps there is a story behind that. I have looked at UN and EU resolutions and they're essentially the same thing as US and California's resolutions. California's resolutions tend to be simple, but that's a consequence of the "but one subject" rule. US Federal resolutions aren't always so simple.
I would not characterize non-binding resolutions them as "non-normative", which I take to mean "not prescriptive". That term is better left to academic and standards contexts. The term "non-binding" seems to better convey the sense that any recommendations contained within aren't enforceable. It's a well used term and well understood.
As far as I can tell, any resolution can propose law. But if that resolution invokes the power to enact that proposal, by using an enacting formula, that that resolution is a bill and the laws it proposes become law upon enactment. Without the enacting formula, the proposed law is merely a recommendation. This is why a constitutional amendment shows amendments to law, but leaves out the enacting formula as the legislature lacks the power to use it on the Constitution. Thus, that document becomes a non-binding resolution - a recommendation to the people. It also appears that many jurisdictions (in the US at least) have chosen to omit the preamble from bills in recent decades. When I look back 100 years or so, bills always seem to have preambles and are much more difficult to distinguish from other resolutions.
So a bill is a resolution, but a resolution isn't necessarily a bill. But while technically both non-binding resolutions and bills are "Resolutions" in the general sense, the more common general term used is "measure" or simply "legislation". Measures are either "Non-Binding" resolutions or are "Bills".

So I would vote to either use the terms "bill" and "resolution" if there are to be two terms or to use a single term "measure" which is the established all encompassing term.
Regarding the name for a non-authoritative composition of law, as with non-positive law titles, I am more concerned that the concept exist than about the name given.

-- Grant
Grant Vergottini
Xcential Group, LLC.
email: grant.vergottini@xcential.com
phone: 858.361.6738

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