Legislation at heart

Legislation at heart


The IAL profile

In the 70’s, legistics (legisprudence), as an interdisciplinary and theoretical as well as practical science, awoke from a long sleep. The increasing quantity of law, the deteriorating quality and the missing of codifications became a major problem in national legislatures and organs of the European Union. National Associations of legislation like in Switzerland, Spain, Great-Britain, Austria and Germany, started to study, teach and apply rules for “good” and “better regulation” as a significant element of “good governance”. In 1991 the “European Association of Legislation” (EAL) was founded in Germany. National associations and individuals became members. Congresses in Liege (1993), Rome (1995), Warszawa (2000), Athens (2002), Bern (2004), Den Haag (2006) and Vienna (2008) were held on invitation of the respective associations and made the EAL better known. Since non – European associations joined (Korea, Thailand, USA, Brasilia), during the Vienna meeting (2008) the association was renamed to “International Association of Legislation” (IAL). The next congresses were held in Lisboa (2010), Veliky Novgorod (2012), Seoul (2014) and Washington (2016). All of the conference proceedings have been published in the publication series “International Association of Legislation (IAL)” with Nomos-Publ., Baden-Baden (Germany).

The raison d’être of the IAL is to promote science, research, teaching and practical application of rules and good practice in the field of legislation. It wants to contribute to the quality of legislation, namely in the fields of analysis of norms, organisation and procedure of law making, assisting in defining goals and means of legislation as well as striving for a clean and transparent language and technics of norms. Like political and administrative sciences, legisprudence applies multidisciplinary methodology, including (constitutional) law, economy, social, psychology and others.

The IAL strives for international cooperation. It supports initiatives that will lead to more interaction between students, scholars, professionals and organizations that share an interest in legislation. This includes deputees, drafters and officials of government agencies. The means by which the aims of IAL are pursued are namely conferences, seminars and lectures to permit open discussion of the scientific and practical problems of legislators. Teaching courses in legislation are held particularly in national associations as members of IAL. They may offer Mastergrades. In addition, the IAL calls upon the members for the publication and circulation of new findings which are important in improving legislation. In most nations, which are represented in the IAL, periodicals give current topical information on the state of the art of legistics.

Members of IAL published, during the last years, several handbooks, which present in a concentrated manner surveys of legisprudence. For the national level, compare e.g. Catherine Bergeal, Rédiger un texte normatif, 6. ed., Paris 2008; Winfried Kluth, Günther Krings, Gesetzgebung, Heidelberg 2014; Helen Xanthaki, Drafting Legislation, Oxford 2014. For the European Level, compare Ulrich Karpen, Legislation in European Countries, Baden-Baden 1996 (country by country); Ulrich Karpen, Helen Xanthaki, Legislation in Europe, A Comprehensive Guide for Scholars and Practitioners, Oxford 2017.

And last but not least, the Association seeks cooperation with international organizations, such as, for instance, the European Institutions, the Council of Europe and similar national or international associations such as the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) and the International Association of Legal Methodology (IALM).


The IAL has a charitable status. It is registered under German law in Bonn. The organs of the IAL consist of a Board, Adivisory Council and the General Assembly. The chairperson or alternatively the vice-chairs represent the IAL judicially and extra-judicially. Concerning fundamental matters, especially with respect to the Association’s workprogramme, the Advisory Council renders advice to the Board. The governing body is the General Assembly of the Association. The day-to-day matters of the IAL are covered by a Secretariat. This is where the member-administration and financial affairs of the IAL are dealt with. Usually the Secretariat resides with the chairperson.

This is currently Prof. Helen Xanthaki, assisted by Dr. Maria Mousmouti as Secretary.

National Associations

The IAL is exploring moves for an intensified contact with national organizations with an interest in Legislation and Legisprudence. It actively promotes and encourages the founding of new organizations. It aims to contribute to the development of a network of scholars and practitioners. As a result, a larger circle of students, professionals or those with an interest in Legislation will be able to connect with one another. This is instrumental to the IAL’s aim to achieve greater attention for Legislation related research education and further training.

Membership – Sign up! 

Membership of the IAL is open to all who have an interest in Legislation. Students, scholars, professionals and non-professionals alike are eligible for membership. Next to individual membership, the IAL is open for organizations to sign up. These could be, for instance, university affiliated- or national organizations.

Membership gives persons and organizations access to a unique network of professionals and to those who are, or want to become experts in living democracy, parliamentary institutions the skills of drafting and implementation of laws, statutory instruments, bylaws and other regulations – in national, supra- and international as well as comparative perspectives. Members will have free access to the bi-annual conference and will be offered the Internet- and printed proceedings in the IAL-series as well as other IAL-publications.

Membership sign up: here