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     The Legislation Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers started the “Plain Laws Understandable by Singaporeans" (“PLUS") Project in 2013.

          The Legislation Division of AGC is Singapore’s central law drafting office. For more information on the work of the Legislation Division, please click here.

2    The PLUS Project's aim is to ensure that our written laws remain drafted and presented in a manner that is clear, readable and more easily understood by the people to whom the laws apply. The scope of the PLUS Project includes modernising the text and design of Singapore’s written laws and enhancing the features of the Singapore Statutes Online ("SSO").

          Click here for AGC’s media statement on 8 November 2013 on the PLUS Project.

3     The Legislation Division conducted an online public survey (from 12 November to 12 December 2013) to better understand the needs, preferences and expectations of the readers of Singapore’s legislation and users of SSO. The survey covered different aspects of the drafting and presentation of legislation, including the use of plain English, aids to understanding legislation, amending language, and the layout and design of printed and online versions of legislation. 

4    1,058 individuals participated in the survey, of whom
     
  • about 70% had no legal training;
  • about 60% were young adults (between 20 to 39 years of age);
  • about 46% were from the public sector; and
  • about 34% were from the general public.

      
       Click here for AGC’s media statement on 28 February 2014 on the PLUS public survey results.            

6    Since 2014, the Legislation Division has been progressively implementing changes in law drafting, SSO and related areas in response to the PLUS public survey.    
     
7    Below are some of the PLUS Initiatives that have been implemented by the Legislation Division:
    
  • New laws are now drafted in plain English as far as is possible this includes:

    • writing in shorter sentences and simpler English, such as using “must” instead of “shall” to signify mandatory obligations, using "however” or "despite" instead of “notwithstanding”, and omitting words like "hereby";

    • adopting gender neutral terms;

    • replacing Roman numerals with Arabic numerals; and

    • breaking down provisions into parts to aid legislation readers.            

  • Bills tabled in Parliament are accompanied by a more detailed Explanatory Statement in appropriate cases, illustrations or descriptions are given on how the proposed new laws/changes to laws would work.

  • SSO revamped in 2017 to make Singapore written laws more accessible to the varied users of Singapore legislation.

     Click here for AGC’s media statement on 10 July 2017 on the beta launch of the revamped SSO.

  • Pilot project embarked in July 2017, in support of parliamentary democracy, to make available to the Members of Parliament soft copies of the Act being amended with the amendments tracked.