Webinar on Legislative Drafting: A Rules-based Approach to Measuring Prescriptivity in Canadian Regulations

Date: March 11, 2019 / 2:00 pm
Price per person: $35
Location: 90-minute webinar beginning at 2 p.m. ET (see the different time zones across Canada)

This program contains 1.5 CPD hours in all Canadian provinces.

Sponsored by the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Legislative Drafting program at Athabasca University

Professor Wolfgang Alschner, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, University of Ottawa

Broadcast time across Canada (Monday, March 11, 2019):
PT 11:00 am–1:00 pm
MT Noon–2:00 pm
CT 1:00–3:00 pm
ET 2:00–4:00 pm
AT 3:00–5:00 pm
NT 3:30–5:30 pm


Legislative drafters follow formalized conventions when crafting statutory and regulatory texts. Professor Wolfgang Alschner will explore how such conventions can facilitate rules-based information extraction. Using regulatory reform as a case study, he will show how to apply rules derived from legislative drafting to automatically measure prescriptivity—a relative concept of commands in relation to permissions—in federal Canadian regulations. We measured prescriptivity by counting associated signaling terms across a corpus of 2,300 Canadian regulations. The resulting prescriptivity scores meaningfully describe policy-relevant characteristics of regulatory texts. These scores provide a basic metric to inform regulatory reform and highlight the value of rules-based analytics derived from legislative drafting conventions. Professor Alschner will also discuss how to facilitate the review of regulations using a software prototype that helps regulators to tell a “good” regulation worth preserving from a “bad” one in need of amendment or repeal.

Requirements and Recommandations

Participation will require an Internet connection with sufficient band-width to support video presentations. The presentation will be accessible through standard browsers such as Windows Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome.

Group viewing is recommended in a room (or rooms) with audio-visual equipment sufficient to accommodate the number of registrants expected at your location. A link to the recorded session will be made available to every individual registrant after the event for private viewing.