An Explorative Study on Purchasing Legal Advice in the German Law-Drafting Process
SEBASTIAN STREB and MARKUS TEPE
GPS, Vol. 8 No. 1, (2012)
The topic of private law firms that provide draft bills on behalf of federal ministries has received much media attention but as yet little academic interest. Drawing on the policy advice and contracting out literature, purchasing legal advice in the law drafting process at the German federal level is conceptualized as a highly specific (formulation of a draft bill) and formalized (contractual relationship) form of policy advice that takes place between the ministerial bureaucracy and private law firms. In order to inform this conceptualization with explorative empirical evidence, this study relies on a small scale questionnaire distributed among conference participants and count data from a minor interpellation. According to the questionnaire, the growing complexity of legal issues and time pressure on law drafting are seen as potential push factors for purchasing legal advice. In contrast, evidence from the interpellation indicates that reductions in ministerial staff seem to have little explanatory power for the purchase of legal advice.