The law must be known and understood by those who are bound by it.
The mandate of the Office of the Registrar of Regulations ('Registry of Regulations') is to ensure that Nova Scotia's regulations are accessible to the people of Nova Scotia.
It fulfills this mandate by:
- establishing plain language drafting standards for regulations
- reviewing all draft regulations for plain language and consistency with current law
- maintaining a Provincial Register of regulations
- publishing, consolidating and revising Nova Scotia's regulations
- maintining legislative indexes of all amendments and other changes affecting regulations
- maintaining records about all active and repealed regulations.
The primary function of the Legislature is to make laws (statutes). (In Nova Scotia, the Office of the Legislative Counsel is responsible for statutes.)
Regulations are laws made by officials who are delegated the power to make laws under the authority of a statute. These delegated officials are usually:
- the Governor in Council (cabinet and the Lieutenant Governor)
- Ministers of government departments
- boards, commissions or agencies of government
- professional associations or bodies
Draft regulations are submitted from all government departments to be reviewed and approved by the office's legal editors. The editors review, analyze and often re-write the text to ensure that the laws are expressed in as simple and straightforward language as possible, without compromising the legal effect of the text.
Once a regulation is made, it is filed with our office, given an N.S. Regulations number and published in the bi-weekly issue of the Royal Gazette Part II. The regulation is then consolidated together with all other amendments to the original regulations and published online. The office also maintains a detailed legislative history of each set of regulations, broken down by provision. Approximately 300-400 regulations are filed with the office annually.
Since 1996, the office has also been responsible for publishing the Royal Gazette Part I, which is the official weekly government record of Cabinet proclamations, Orders in Council, and notices made under Provincial statutes. Under subsection 17(2) of the Communications and Information Act, all advertisements, notices or publications required by law to be published by government must be published in the Royal Gazette unless some other mode of publishing is directed by law.
Our office consists of 5 staff: the Registrar, Deputy Registrar, 1 Legistics Analyst/Editor, and 2 Regulations Publication Officers.
Download or view "The Office of the Registrar of Regulations: An Overview of its Role, Practices and Procedures" (in PDF) for an overview of the office's role and functions from this page: Overview of Office.