One of the main considerations in formulating the national strategy in the area of law and legal reform is that the government is under a duty to deliver a mechanism or an operating framework for an effective legislative drafting process. In gist, there shall be laws only to the extent of necessity. This principle is enshrined and further articulated in section 77 of the Constitution of Thailand B.E. 2560 (2017).
Thai people shall remain free to pursue their lives and to earn their living without being subject to undue burdens and obstacles consequential of the enforcement of unworthy and outdated laws. In addition, laws must be sufficiently comprehensible not just to legal professionals but more importantly to laypersons in order to facilitate correct compliance with the laws.
Cognisant of the texts of section 77 of the Constitution and the spirit of participatory democracy, the government is adamant to improve the existing legislative drafting process and put in place a system that allows for a periodic review of existing laws and their subordinate rules. The public, especially those who will be directly affected by the law, should be actively encouraged to take part in the formulation of the law in a meaningful way. Furthermore, their viewpoints or responses must be taken into account in every step of the drafting process. To this end, an excessive adoption of the permit system and committee-based decision-making process as well as the exercise of State official’s discretion and disproportionate criminal penalties must be condemned.
This important mission is spearheaded by the Office of the Council of State. The Office is Thailand’s central legislative drafting agency and the responsible State agency tasked to lead the administration of the implementation of the national strategy in the area of law and legal reform.
PRINCIPLE AND RATIONALE
OF THE DRAFT ACT ON
LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING AND EVALUATION OF LEGISLATION,
To enact the law on legislative drafting and evaluation of legislation.
Whereas it is expedient to prescribe the rules on the drafting of legislation, the rules for examining the necessity of enacting legislation, for conducting a public consultation, analysing any impacts that may occur from the law in the drafting of legislative acts and disclosing the result of the hearing and the analysis to the public. Furthermore, it is expedite to prescribe the rules for examining the substance of the draft legislation on a permit system, committee system, and the use of discretion by State officers, and the period of time for completion of any step prescribed in the law, and the rules on setting the criminal penalties, including the prescription of the rules on the evaluation of the outcomes of law. This is to be in consistence with the principles enshrined in sections 77 and 258 (1) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, B.E. 2560 (2017), which will enhance the efficiency of the legislative drafting process and thus improve the quality of the law in a systematic manner.
- Draft -
ON LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING AND EVALUATION OF LEGISLATION,
Whereas it is expedite to have the law on legislative drafting and evaluation of legislation;
Section 1 This Act is called the “Act on Legislative Drafting and Evaluation of Legislation, B.E. ….”
Section 2 This Act shall come into force after ninety days from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette.
Section 3 In this Act:
“Law” means the Organic Acts, Acts of Parliament, and Legal Codes;
“Legislative drafting” means the drafting and deliberation in order to enact a new legislation, to repeal, reform, or amend the existing law;
“Rule” means the rule according to the administrative procedural law, the effects of which impose a burden to the people or a refusal to comply resulting in punishment or the restriction of rights or have an impact on the individual status;
“Impact assessment” means the assessment of any impacts, which may arise from the law;
“Impact report” means the impact assessment report;
“The evaluation of the outcomes” means the evaluation of the enforcement of the law and rule, whether and to what extent it has achieved the objective of that legislation, whether or not it is worth the additional burden imposed upon the State and the people, or whether and to what extent it has yielded other impacts, which result in injustice to the people;
“State agency” means an agency which is belong to the State, whether it be the government, state enterprise, public organisation, or in any other form, and whether it be an agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch, or an independent organisation, or attorney general organisation;
“Related person” means the person who has or may have rights or duties, or who bear or may bear the impact of the draft law, law, or rule, that has one of the following attributes or characteristics:
(1) a business operator, person, or group of persons, who may have rights or duties, or who may bear the impact, including related organisations;
(2) a group of persons or community in the area, which may bear the impact, including related organisations, which have the objectives to serve the interests of the said group of persons or community;
(3) a State agency, which has related missions or is responsible for the area, which may bear the impact;
(4) a qualified person who has expertise in the said subject;
“Related organisation” means an association or foundation that was established according to the Civil and Commercial Code, an assembly or juristic person which was called differently and established under a specific law which may bear the impact of the draft law;
“Central system” means the information technology system and the network, which was created in order to publicise the information regarding the legislative drafting and the evaluation of the outcomes including the accessibility to the provisions of the law by the people;
“Council of State” means the Council of State according to the law on the Council of State;
“Law Reform Commission” means Law Reform Commission according to the law on the Council of State;
“Office” means the Office of the Council of State.
Section 4 The Prime Minister shall have charge and control of the execution of this Act.
Section 5 A State agency shall have the laws to the extent of necessity and repeal or amend the laws that are no longer needed, or inconsistent with the present context, or hinder the livelihood or occupation without delay so that these laws will not be the burden of the people.
The State agency shall ensure that people can conveniently access to the legislative texts and that people are able to easily comprehend and correctly be in compliant with the laws by providing explanatory notes alongside the legislative texts according to Section 39.
Before every legislative draft process begins, the State agency shall arrange a public consultation, analyse the impacts of the legislation in a comprehensive and systematic manner, including publishing the result of the public consultation and the impact assessment to the public and take them into account in every step of the legislative drafting process.
The provisions in this Section shall be applied to the legislative drafting prescribed in the ministerial regulation mutatis mutandis.
Section 6 In applying a provision in a law that contains criminal punishment, the Court of Justice is of an opinion or agrees with the argument and the reasons put forth by one of the parties who appear before the court that the provision is inconsistent with section 5 paragraph one and the general meeting of the Supreme Court has not ruled on this issue, the court shall propose the issue to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to propose before the general meeting of the Supreme Court for a ruling. In the meantime, the court may proceed with the case but postpone the judgement temporarily until there is a ruling from the general meeting of the Supreme Court. In the case that the general meeting of the Supreme Court is of an opinion that the said provision is inconsistent with section 5 paragraph one, the court may either refrain from imposing the criminal punishment or consider a lesser punishment than prescribed in that law.
The provision in paragraph one shall be applied to the judicial proceeding of the military court mutatis mutandis and the power to make a ruling by the general meeting of the Supreme Court in paragraph one shall be vested in the Chief Justice of the Military Supreme Court.
In the case that the administrative court is of an opinion that a provision in a law that is being applied in the administrative proceeding is inconsistent with section 5 paragraph one, the administrative court shall send the opinion and the reasons to the Ombudsman to administer the issue according to the latter’s duties and powers.
The implementation of provisions in paragraphs one, two, and three shall be in accordance with the rules of the general meeting of the Supreme Court, the rules of the Military Supreme Court, and the rules of the general meeting of the Supreme Administrative Court as the case may be.
Section 7 When it is appropriate to do so, the Law Reform Committee may propose or give advice to the Council of Ministers regarding the enactment of ministerial regulation, the prescription of guideline, or any other actions in compliance with this law, including giving advice to State agencies regarding the compliance with this law.
In the interest of complying with sections 15 and section 19, the Law Reform Commission may prescribe the rule and procedure for State agencies to use as a guideline.
When appropriate, the Law Reform Commission may write a report on the compliance with this Act and present it to the Council of Ministers from time to time.
Section 8 The fact that only the important parts of this Act have been complied with does not invalidate the drafting of that legislation by a State agency.
In the case that the Law Reform Commission is of an opinion that the action of the State agency is not in compliance with or does not follow this Act, it may advise an action plan for that State agency to follow. When the State agency carries out accordingly, that should be considered as acting in compliance with to the law.
Section 9 In the case that this Act does not prescribe in a specific manner the rules on the general notification or publication, the notification or publication in the information technology system of the State agency or other systems or means that are conveniently accessible by the people shall be deemed an action in compliance with this Act.
Section 10 The Electronic Government Agency is responsible for providing, maintaining, and developing a central system according to the Office’s request for using in the following undertakings:
(1) the public consultation accompanying the legislative drafting and the evaluation of outcomes;
(2) the information disclosure regarding the public consultation, impact assessment, and legislative drafting carried out by the State agency, including the draft legislations that the Council of Ministers propose to the House of Representatives;
(3) stakeholder registration, whose opinions must be taken into account during the legislative drafting and the evaluation of outcomes;
(4) the disclosure of the result of the evaluation of outcomes that were carried out by the State agency, which has charge and control of the execution of the law;
(5) the compilation of laws and rules in order to create the database in the implementation of Chapter 5 and Chapter 6;
The central system in paragraph one must at least be accessible by stakeholders or the public and is convenient to submit opinions, but must not be designed such that personal information can be disclosed unnecessarily.
The Office shall be responsible for administering the said central system.
The Office is responsible for the management of the said central system.
The State agency shall upload the information necessary for the public consultation and impact assessment, including the evaluation of the outcomes of law into the central system and make them publicly available, in accordance with the rules, procedure, and format jointly prescribed by the Electronic Government Agency and the Office.
The examination of the necessity, public consultation, and impact assessment
Section 11 In the case that it is necessary to propose a draft legislation, a State agency shall explain the rationale of the necessity in drafting the legislation, by demonstrating that it does not impose an unnecessary burden upon the people; that the utility gained from having the legislation outweighs the burden on the people; and that there are no other measures except the legislation that can achieve the same effect.
Section 12 In the case that a law specifically prescribes the rules and procedures regarding the public consultation or the evaluation of outcomes, the State agency in charge shall comply with that law.
Section 13 A State agency shall conduct a public consultation through the central system or by using one or more of the following methods:
(1) a public consultation through that State agency’s information technology system;
(2) a public consultation meeting;
(3) an interview or an invitation to explain or express opinions;
(4) a questionnaire;
(5) other methods.
Section 14 A State agency shall bring the principles or important issues of the draft legislation to the consideration during the public consultation and shall publicize the procedure, the time period of commencement and termination, as well as disclosing the relevant information, which shall at least consist of:
(1) current problems and the necessity of drafting the legislation to solve such problems or of carrying out;
(2) explanations of the rationale and important issues of the draft legislation in a simple language;
(3) persons who are or may be affected by the impacts or potential impacts of the law, whether it be impacts on the livelihood, or economic, social, environmental impacts or other important impacts;
(4) the necessity for the permit system, committee system, and criminal punishment, including the rules on the exercise of discretion by State officials.
In the case that the State agency know of the contact details of the stakeholders, it shall inform them of the actions taken according to paragraph one, or may inform them of the publication in paragraph one.
Section 15 In the interest of public consultation, the Office shall register the stakeholders via the central system and may add an additional list of other stakeholders who ought to give opinions or the list of stakeholders from the State agency in paragraph two in the central system.
The State agency responsible for enforcing the law or proposing a legislative drafting shall compile a list of stakeholders including their electronic mailing addresses, who ought to give opinions for the legislative drafting or the evaluation of the outcomes and inform the Office accordingly.
The registration and notification in paragraphs one and paragraph two respectively shall be carried out according to the rules and procedure as prescribed by the Law Reform Committee.
Section 16 In carrying out a public consultation outside the central system, a State agency shall hold a public consultation from the stakeholders as necessary and appropriate, by selecting from the list of stakeholders in section 16 or the additional list of stakeholders, as the State agency sees fit. If it does so, the State agency shall take opinions from the public or other State agencies which has the missions relevant to the draft legislation.
Section 17 In drafting a legislation that concerns national security and safety; that is not generally enforced upon the public; that is of urgent necessity in the important national interest regarding public safety, economic security, or disaster prevention; or that does not have an impact on the people, a hearing may be conducted with stakeholder agencies only.
Section 18 After conducting a public consultation, a State agency shall take the result of the consultation into consideration for assessing the impacts and drafting the legislation. The agency shall summarise the result of the consultation at least by indicating the topics on which the opinions were expressed and summarise the opinions in each topic from every stakeholder, including the amendment (or not) of the principles or key issues of the draft legislation according to those opinions together with underlying reasons of such amendment.
Section 19 Regarding the impact assessment, a State agency must do so in a comprehensive and systematic manner, taking the result of the public consultation into account and produce an impact assessment report according to the guideline prescribed by the Law Reform Committee and approved by the Council of Ministers. Such guideline encompasses:
(1) the necessity of enacting the legislation or rule in order to carry out that mission;
(2) the burdens or hindrances of that legislation to the people’s livelihood;
(3) The individual right and liberty that must be restricted;
(4) economic, social, and environmental impacts or other important impacts;
(5) the rationale and necessity of the permit system, committee system, and criminal punishment, including the rules on the exercise of discretion by State officials;
(6) the responsible agency and the number of State officials required to be in compliance with the law;
(7) the readiness of the State in complying and enforcing the law, and the budget;
(8) redundancy with other laws;
(9) remedial provision for those who are affected, in case of a serious impact.
Section 20 A State agency shall publish the summary report of the public consultation in section 19 and the impact assessment report in section 20 via the central system and other methods if need be. Except for the action in accordance with the legislative drafting in section 18, the State agency may or may not disclose the said report as it sees fit.
Section 21 In the case that a member of the House of Representatives or an eligible voter is the one who proposes the draft legislation, after the House of Representatives receives the proposal for the drafting of the said legislation, the Secretariat of the House of Representative shall carry out the stakeholder hearing and impact assessment in this Act.
In the case that the Council of Ministers receives the draft legislation in paragraph one for consideration and propose a draft legislation which has the same or similar principle, and has already gone through a stakeholder hearing or an impact assessment, the said stakeholder hearing and impact assessment can be used with the draft legislation, which the member of the House of Representatives or the eligible voter proposes, but in the case that the Council of Ministers propose the said draft legislation without conducting a stakeholder hearing or an impact assessment, the text in paragraph one shall be applied mutatis mutandis.
The text in paragraph 2 shall be enforced mutatis mutandis in the case that a member of the House of Representatives or an eligible voter proposed a draft legislation, which has the same or similar principle with the draft, which the Council of Ministers had proposed to the House of Representatives.
The decision of whether or not draft legislations have the same or similar principle is under the authority of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The examination of the content of the draft legislation
Section 22 A State agency must examine and assess the draft legislation according to the following criteria:
(1) consistent and not incompatible or against the Constitution. In the case of the legislative drafting or legal code, it must be consistent and not incompatible or against the organic acts as well;
(2) not incompatible or against the national reform plan;
(3) cognizant of the principle of good governance;
(4) repeal or amend the laws, which are no longer necessary or inconsistent with the current context, or obstruct the livelihood so not to be a burden for the people;
(5) refrain from using the permit system, except for when it is necessary to preserve the national or people’s interests, or there is an unavoidable necessity. In the case that it is necessary to have the permit system, the prescription of the time period or procedure for considering the permit applications must be cognizant of the principle and gist of the Licensing Facilitation Act, B.E. 2558 (2015);
(6) refrain from using the committee system, except policy setting, or supervision, or regulation, or for other necessary situations. In the case that the committee system is used, it shall be stated unequivocally that the resolution reached by the committee shall bind the agencies of the committee members who are appointed ex officio;
(7) the provision empowering a State official to exercise discretion in issuing an administrative order or in carrying out an administrative action shall be used only to the extent of necessity. In the case that there is such a provision, there shall be the rules on exercising discretion and the time period of exercising discretion shall be included prominently in the draft legislation;
(8) the criminal punishment for a wrongful act shall be cognizant of the following criteria;
(a) the said act must gravely affect the national security or safety, public order, or good morale of the people or have a public impact;
(b) there is no other measures that can be used to enforce the law as efficient and effective to make people comply with the law;
(9) other guidelines as prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
Section 23 a draft legislation that contains a criminal punishment, an administrative punishment, or other kind of enforcement that results in a negative impact upon the violator or disobedient, or containing a provision specifying that the permit application, permit granting, or the compliance of that law must be in accordance with the rules, procedures, or conditions, which will be subsequently prescribed, the said draft legislation must contain a provision prohibiting the enforcement of the aforementioned provisions in the way that cause a negative impact upon individuals until the State official is ready to be in compliant with the law or until the said rules, procedures, or conditions are enacted.
Section 24 In the case that the draft legislation prescribes the rule on the criteria of exercising discretion. The said rule must be prescribed the way that discretion is exercised according to the following criteria:
(1) not incompatible or against the important principles which are recognised by the Constitution;
(2) consistent with the principle of good governance;
(3) consistent and comply with the law on administrative procedure;
(4) adhering to the principles of reasonableness and proportionality between the public interests on the one hand and the right, liberty and individual interests lost on the other hand;
(5) adhering to the principle of equality and non-discrimination.
Section 25 In order for the transparency and accountability of the exercise of discretion by a State official, a State agency shall produce a guideline on the exercise of discretion by the State official according to the criteria prescribed in section 25 in a timely manner and make it widely available for the public.
The guideline on the exercise of discretion in paragraph one may not be used in the way that cause a negative impact on individuals until it has been made publicly available.
The review of the result of public consultation and impact assessment
Section 26 In proposing a draft legislation or the principle of draft legislation to the Council of Ministers, the State agency shall present the following documents to the Secretariat of the Cabinet:
(1) Draft legislation or the principle and gist of the draft legislation;
(2) Summary report of the public consultation;
(3) The impact assessment report.
Section 27 In the case that the Secretariat of the Cabinet reviews the documents in section 27 and is of an opinion that a State agency has not completed the requirements in Chapter 2, the Secretariat of the Cabinet shall return the matter to the State agency to complete the requirements. In the case that the Secretariat is of an opinion that all the steps have been completed, it shall present the matter to the Council of Ministers.
Section 28 In reviewing a draft legislation, the Office or the Council of State shall bring the documents in section 27 into consideration and perform one of the following actions as the case may be:
(1) examine the necessity of the draft legislation. If the draft legislation is deemed unnecessary, the Office shall send the opinion and advice back to the Secretariat of the Cabinet in order to present the matter to the Council of Ministers for a review as it sees fit;
(2) in reviewing a draft legislation, comply with the rules in section 5 and Chapter 3;
(3) in the case that it is deemed appropriate to conduct an additional public consultation or re-assess the impacts of the law, the Office may do so by itself or inform the relevant State agency to do so.
Section 29 In proposing a draft legislation to the Parliament, the Council of Ministers shall submit the documents in section 27 (2) and section 29 (3) to the Parliament for consideration.
The evaluation of outcomes
Section 30 In this chapter, the term “law” is defined such as to include the Emergency Decree.
The evaluation of outcomes shall be in accordance with the guideline prescribed in this chapter, except the evaluation of outcomes of the legal codes, which is subject to the guideline prescribed by the Law Reform Commission.
Section 31 The provisions in this chapter shall not apply to the following laws:
(1) the laws that are in effect for a specific time period and that period has already passed;
(2) the laws that prescribe a certain course of action and such action has already been carried out, for instance, the law on the adoption of a legal code, the eminent domain law, the law on the transfer of title in an asset, the law on establishing a court of law, the law on establishing a new province, the law relating to coinage, the printing of bank notes or royal decorations, the law on prescribing military or police ranking, the law on university degrees, the law prescribing the degree initials, the law prescribing academic qualifications;
(3) the laws on the reorganisation of ministry, sub-ministry, and department or establishing a State agency;
(4) the laws that prescribe the features of the academic qualification badge, sign, or uniform; for instance, the law prescribing an academic robe, the law prescribing a government sign, and the law prescribing a uniform;
(5) other laws as prescribed in the ministerial regulation.
Section 32 The evaluation of outcomes shall be carried out at the same time for both the primary law and the rules enacted according to that law in order to achieve the following goals:
(1) having laws to the extent of necessity, by revoking or amending the laws which are no longer necessary, anachronistic, or inconsistent with the current context, or hinder the livelihood and occupation so as to not become a burden for the people;
(2) developing the laws to be consistent with the international principles and obligations;
(3) reducing redundancy and conflict among the laws;
(4) reducing inequality and ensuring social fairness;
(5) Increasing national competitiveness.
In the case that a State agency in charge of enforcing the rule is of the opinion that such a rule causes a burden for the people or the violation of the rule will result in a punishment or the loss of right or impact on the individual status in a significant manner, there shall be a separate evaluation of outcomes of that particular rule.
In the case that the Law Reform Commission finds out that there is a rule in paragraph two, it may inform the responsible State agency in order to carry out a separate evaluation of outcomes for the said rule within the prescribed time period.
Section 33 The evaluation of outcomes must be carried out in consistent with the principles in Chapters 1 and 3 and must be cognisant of the following matters:
(1) the proportionality between the benefits obtained from a successful implementation of the law and the burden incurred by the people and resources expended on the implementation of the law;
(2) the statistics of the legal proceedings and criminal prosecutions;
(3) the consistency and implementation of international obligations under the international law;
(4) other matters as prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
Section 34 A State agency that is responsible for enforcing a law shall be responsible for carrying out the evaluation of outcomes of that law.
The responsibility of the State agency in enforcing a law shall be assigned by the person who has charge and control. In the case that a law has more than one person in charge and control, the assignment of the State agency to carry out the evaluation of outcomes shall be done by consultation.
In the case that a law has no person who has charge and control, the Prime Minister shall assign the State agency to be responsible for the evaluation of outcomes of the said law.
The person who has charge and control or the Prime Minister is responsible for supervising and follow up on the evaluation of outcomes by the State agency.
Section 35 The person who has charge and control or the Prime Minister publishes a list of the laws and the State agencies responsible for the evaluation of outcomes in section 35 in the central system within ninety days from the date that that law first comes into effect.
Section 36 The evaluation of outcomes shall be carried out at least every five years during the period of enforcement of that law or in other recurring time period as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation or when one of the following cases applies:
(1) received a petition or recommendation letter from relevant organizations or from the general public and the Minister who has charge and control opines that such a petition or recommendation letter is reasonable;
(2) received a recommendation from the Law Reform Commission;
(3) other cases as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation.
The evaluation of outcomes of an Emergency Decree shall be carried out within two years from the date of the enforcement. The Emergency Decree which has already been enforced before this Act comes into force shall be evaluated according to paragraph one of this section.
Section 37 When it is evident that there has been no enforcement of the law or no secondary instrument enacted in over two years from the date of the enforcement, the person who have charge and control shall propose to the Council of Ministers to repeal that law. If the said law is deemed to still be necessary, the reasons of necessity and the explanation of non-enforcement or for lack of secondary instruments shall be presented to the Council of Ministers including the clear timeline of implementation.
Section 38 In conducting the evaluation of outcomes, a State agency shall do so in accordance with the guideline prescribed by the Law Reform Commission and approved by the Council of Ministers and that is made publicly available in the central system.
When the result of the evaluation of outcomes suggests that a law does not produce the outcomes according to the objectives of that law, or the costs incurred outweigh the benefits received by the State or the people, or produces other impacts that cause grave injustice to the people, the responsible State agency shall repeal, amend or revise the law promptly.
Accessibility to the Provisions of the Law
Section 39 In the people’s interest of accessibility to the provisions of the law, the responsible State agency shall make the law publicly available the following information in the central system:
(1) the statutes and rules, within the scope of responsibility, that are complete and up to date;
(2) the translation of the law in the ASEAN official language;
(3) the succinct explanation of the gist of the law in the way that the people can easily understand;
The rules in (1) include regulations, circulars, orders, guidelines or other documents with a similar effect or issued under the power of that law.
A law that does not fall within the direct responsible of any State agency shall fall within the scope of responsibility of the Office to act according to paragraph one.
The actions in compliance with this section shall be in accordance with the rule, procedure, and format jointly prescribed by the Electronic Government Agency and the Office.
Section 40 The Royal Decree on Sunset Law, B.E. 2558 (2015) shall continue to be in effect. When the guideline on the evaluation of outcomes in chapter 5 comes into force, the said Royal Decree shall stop having an effect.
Section 41 In the case that this Act prescribes an action that must be done via the central system but the central system has not been in operation, the action done via the information technology system of the State agency is the action done via the central system.
Section 42 In the initial phase:
(1) the two year time period in section 24 paragraph two for the laws that were in effect on the day immediately preceding the date that this Act comes into force, shall start counting from the date that this Act comes into force;
(2) the ninety day period in section 36 for the laws that were in effect on the day immediately preceding the date that this Act comes into force, shall start counting from the date that this Act comes into force.
Section 43 Any rules or resolutions of the Council of Ministers relating to public consultation for the purpose of the legislative drafting, impact assessment, and relating to the legislative drafting, which were in effect on the day immediately preceding the date that this Act comes into force, shall continue to be in effect so long as they are not in conflict with this Act, and unless and until there are the ministerial regulations, rules, procedures, formats or guidelines issued under this Act.
[*] Translated by Mr. Narun Popattanachai, Krisdika counsel (practitioner level), the Office of the Council of State.
DISCLAIMER: THIS TEXT HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR EDUCATIONAL/ COMPREHENSION PURPOSE AND CONTAINS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY. THE OFFICE OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE SHALL ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LIABILITIES AIRISNG FROM THE USE AND/OR REFERENCE OF THIS TEXT.