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

A history of OPC, and of Commonwealth Parliamentary drafting generally was published in 2012. Please contact us if you would like us to post a copy to you.