12. The enacting terms of a binding act shall not include provisions of a non-normative nature, such as wishes or political declarations, or those which repeat or paraphrase passages or articles from the treaties or those which restate legal provisions already in force.
Acts shall not include provisions which enunciate the content of other articles or repeat the title of the act.
Provisions of a non-normative nature in binding acts
Legislative acts should go straight to the point. Binding acts should lay down rules, including provisions setting out the information (for example: scope, definitions) necessary to understand and apply the act correctly. Anything else is superfluous: desires, intentions and declarations do not belong in the enacting terms of a binding act. There is a contradiction between ‘desirable’ and ‘binding’.
Provisions which reproduce or paraphrase passages or articles of the Treaties or other acts
This is a pointless and dangerous practice. Let us take the example of an act based on Article 40 of the EC Treaty, which is duly referred to in the citations. It is pointless to draft a paragraph which repeats Article 39(1), according to which ‘Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community’. The author must indicate how he intends to implement that provision, and not repeat it. Furthermore, such repetition is dangerous, since any departure from the original wording may give the impression that a different result was intended, and even give rise to a sort of presumption to that effect.
Provisions which merely enunciate the content of other articles
Such provisions are commonly worded as follows:
They add nothing to the legislative text, since the articles in question themselves contain all the necessary information concerning their implementation. Furthermore, such a structure creates confusion as to the true legal basis for a future implementing measure: is it the article containing the reference, or the article to which reference is made?
Provisions which repeat the title of the act
Even when it is not possible to avoid using words forming part of the title of the act (for example, in the article which defines the subject matter and scope of the act), there must be some added value, with a more detailed definition of the parameters of the text. Otherwise, such provisions have no normative content and may, moreover, create confusion as to the rights and obligations established by the act.