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Sir William Dale Annual Memorial Lecture

Gender-Neutral Law Drafting: The Challenge of Translating Policy into Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords legislation, policy, gender-neutral law drafting, New Zealand
Authors Margaret Wilson
AbstractAuthor's information

    For legislation to be inclusive it must be expressed in a way that is gender-neutral. Gender-neutral drafting became a policy issue in New Zealand in the 1980s and since that time gender-neutral drafting has become an accepted drafting practice. The issue has been to ensure previous legislation is gender-neutral. The Legislation Bill that is before the Parliament provides for legislation already enacted to be reviewed to remove gendered language. The main lesson to be learnt from the New Zealand experience is the need for political and bureaucratic commitment to gender-neutral drafting.


Margaret Wilson
Margaret Wilson is Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
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