Our history

Arrangements for the drafting of Commonwealth legislation were put in place at the very beginning of Australia’s federation as a nation in 1901. Initially drafting was a function of the Attorney-General’s Department, with the Secretary of that Department acting as the Parliamentary Draftsman. The Office of Commonwealth Parliamentary Draftsman was made a separate office within the Department on 8 July 1948.

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel, headed by First Parliamentary Counsel, was established on 12 June 1970.

Fitting the Bill—A History of Commonwealth Parliamentary Drafting

Fitting the Bill—A History of Commonwealth Parliamentary Drafting

A history of OPC, and of Commonwealth Parliamentary drafting generally was published in 2012. Find the electronic copy here, otherwise please contact us if you would like us to post a copy to you.