Bond University


How to describe my delight when I first discovered Twining and Miers’ How To Do Things With Rules in its third edition some eight or nine years ago?(!) One of the occupational hazards of a career in legislative drafting is being stranded at a party after trying to explain to someone (anyone!) just what fun it is, doing things with rules. The conversation teeters, then shifts to other guests and more engaging topics. Twining and Miers’ work is a text that enjoys its subject, while demonstrating the fundamental importance of interpretation at all levels of the law and for all those who come into contact with the law (that is, everybody). Armed with the “case of the legalistic child” (10-12), or the strange-but-true story of the fire engine drivers both prohibited and permitted to go through red lights (51-56), a shy and retiring drafter could venture forth to the next social engagement and hold his own in the most brilliant company. The first part of this review gives an account of the achievements of Twining and Miers’ work in its previous incarnations — in terms of its subject matter, approach and method. In the second part of the review, the distinctive features of the fourth edition are evaluated.