Names without frontiers: Legislative titles and sloganeering
A recent spate of legislation in Australia with sloganeering titles raises questions about the interrelationship of political, parliamentary, and legislative language. This article traces the history and functions of legislative titling. Titling came to serve an essentially descriptive function, through the use of bland, bureaucratic language which exhibited indifference to the politics of law-making. The short title, however, in an age of political spin-doctoring, could become a site for image conscious 'motherhood' statements. Reasons to lament such a trend are proposed, as well as factors to explain its appearance. The Australian examples are examined with a view to understanding their motivations. Historical and comparative precedents are also considered. In conclusion, the article seeks to locate the trend in the broader context of naming conventions in a media conscious age.
Statute Law Review
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Statute Law Review following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Statute Law Review 2000 21(3):188-212 is available online at: http://slr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/21/3/188