17. A reference made in the enacting terms of a binding act to a non-binding act shall not have the effect of making the latter binding. Should the drafters wish to render binding the whole or part of the content of the nonbinding act, its terms should as far as possible be set forth as part of the binding act.
The first sentence is merely a statement of fact. For example, if a decision is adopted as a result of a resolution, the decision is the legislative act and the resolution remains a political act, with no legal binding force.
The second sentence applies, in particular, to the case of technical standards, which are often drawn up by standardisation bodies, or the like. It is often too onerous to reproduce a lengthy, non-binding act referred to as it stands. This is commonly true, for example, of the description of the conduct of laboratory tests. In such cases, the act in question is merely referred to.
It is possible to freeze the reference to the version of the provision in force at the time the act was adopted, by indicating the number and the date (or year) of the act to which reference is made, or by the use of formulas such as ‘in the version of …’ (see also points 16.11 to 16.16 concerning static references and dynamic references).
Nevertheless, if control is to be retained over the text of the non-binding act in question, it should be reproduced. If the non-binding act is not set out in full, it is often still useful to maintain the structure, with certain points or passages left blank, if necessary with an explanation in a footnote. Likewise, if points or annexes are to be inserted, which did not exist in the act reproduced, they should be numbered ‘1a’, ‘1b’, and so forth. If a point or an annex is inserted before point 1 or Annex I, it will be point 0 or Annex 0.