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Office of the Parliamentary Counsel United Kingdom
Bills were originally drafted by normal barristers, Members of Parliament themselves or members of the judiciary. William Pitt was the first person to appoint a dedicated parliamentary draftsman, known as the Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury, who in 1833 described his duties as "to draw or settle all the Bills that belong to Government in the Department of the Treasury", although he also produced bills for other departments. Despite this many bills continued to be drafted by other members of the bar, and one of these barristers (Henry Thring) suggested that "the subjects of Acts of Parliament, as well as the provisions by which the law is enforced, would admit of being reduced to a certain degree of uniformity; that the proper mode of sifting the materials and of arranging the clauses can be explained; and that the form of expressing the enactments might also be the subject of regulation". In response to this, the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury was established on 8 February 1869, with Thring as Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury, the head of the office.
The office is small for a government department - in 1901 it consisted of "the Parliamentary Counsel and the Assistant Parliamentary Counsel, with three shorthand writers, an office-keeper, and an office boy". Two more Parliamentary Counsel were appointed in 1914 and 1930 respectively, and by 1960 the office had 16 counsel, along with their support staff. It currently consists of 47 counsel, with a 13-person support team. The OPC was initially part of HM Treasury, but when the Civil Service Department was created in 1969 the OPC became a part of it, changing its name from Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury to simply the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. After the Civil Service Department was dissolved in 1980, the OPC became part of the Cabinet Office.
^Roy MacLeod, Government and Expertise: Specialists, Administrators and Professionals, 1860-1919 (Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 36.
^ abcdThe Times, 3 August 1886, p. 7, for Thring's resignation and Jenkyn's succession, as well as Ilbert's appointment as Assistant Parliamentary Counsel in succession of Jenkyns who had held the office since 1869.
^"Jenkyns, Sir Henry", Who Was Who (online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2007). Retrieved 26 January 2019.
^Henry Roseveare, The Treasury: The Evolution of a British Institution (Allen Lane, 1969), p. 216.