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Office of Parliamentary Counsel

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel or OPC was established with the aim of providing specialist legislative drafting services to the Government.

The hallmark of good legislation is legislation that is clear, accessible and effective. The OPC seeks to meet these objectives by applying modern drafting techniques and styles. These principles are applied to all primary and subsidiary legislation that is drafted in the OPC.

The OPC is staffed by Paul Peralta, the Parliamentary Counsel, and a team of lawyers. In addition to formal legal qualifications all drafters undertake further training in the field of legislative drafting.

The nature of the drafting work undertaken by the OPC is as varied as the statute book itself. From the environment to electricity and from transport to tax, drafting instructions may vary from domestic policy implementation to the implementation of European Union or other international obligations. The only exception is in respect of financial services legislation where it undertakes a supervisory role.

Legislative drafters work closely with Ministers and all government departments and agencies. In some cases drafters are required to provide advice early on in the legislative process and to provide advice on possible legislative solutions. When the policy is settled and the legislative solutions identified, legislative drafters draft the relevant legislative texts for the sponsoring Ministers to introduce in Parliament or for publication in the Gibraltar Gazette.

In certain matters OPC are required to work with counterparts in the United Kingdom, this is particularly so as regards the participation and implementation of international treaties and agreements that HMGoG seeks to have extended to Gibraltar or otherwise participate in.

All legislative drafters are members of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel. This body counts the majority of the public sector drafters in the Commonwealth as members. Over the years this forum has provided Gibraltar and in particular the OPC with opportunities for the exchange of information, best practices and ideas with some of the most progressive jurisdictions as well as reinforcing links with the various drafting offices throughout the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies.

The authoritative version of the legislation is published in the Gibraltar Gazette. A non-authoritative version of Gibraltar’s laws is made available online at, at no charge to the public. Primary and subsidiary legislation is published on the website and it includes a consolidated version of the legislation. OPC aims for legislation to be updated as soon as possible, and most is undertaken within a week from publication in the Gibraltar Gazette.