15. As far as possible, the enacting terms shall have a standard structure (subject matter and scope — definitions — rights and obligations — provisions conferring implementing powers — procedural provisions — implementing measures — transitional and final provisions).
The enacting terms shall be subdivided into articles and, depending on their length and complexity, titles, chapters and sections.When an article contains a list, each item on the list should be identified by a number or a letter rather than an indent.
The following textual components of the standard structure of the enacting terms comply with relatively strict rules of presentation:
(1) the subject matter and scope (see Guideline 13);
(2) the definitions (see Guideline 14);
(3) the provisions conferring implementing powers. The provisions relating to ‘committee procedures’ follow the rules of presentation reflected in the LegisWrite models;
(4) implementing measures. The provisions concerning the detailed rules and dates for transposition of a directive by the Member States follow an established format (see LegisWrite). Other provisions, for example those concerning penalties to be provided for at national level, or legal remedies to be afforded, also have a standard form;
(5) transitional and final provisions. They cover:
— any repeal of earlier acts (see Guideline 21). If the date of repeal is not the same as the date of entry into force of the act to be adopted, that date should be clearly stated;
— rules for transition from the old system to the new. The language used and, above all, the dates mentioned must leave no doubt as to the period during which all or part of the old rules continue to apply once the new system is in force;
— provisions amending earlier acts (see Guideline 18);
— the period during which the act is to apply (see Guideline 20).
The other elements — the rights and obligations and procedural provisions — constitute the truly normative part of the act, and their form depends on the objective of the act and the degree of complexity of the system provided for.
When an article contains a list, care must be taken to ensure that each element of the list is coordinated and directly related to the introductory words. To that end, it is preferable to avoid inserting autonomous sentences or subparagraphs in a list.
The structural subdivisions of the enacting terms of a legislative act are set out in the following table. Acts with a simple structure comprise articles and subdivisions of articles. The higher subdivisions of acts begin with chapters, divided, if necessary, into sections. Only when the text is extremely complex can chapters be grouped in titles which may, where necessary, be grouped in parts.