Crimes will be less frequent in proportion as the code of laws is more universally read and understood.

—Cesare Beccaria. Of Crimes and Punishments, 1764.

The whole body of statute law should follow a theme which makes finding the law intuitive. To this end the people should not be burdened with multiple instances of the same conduct being proscribed in different laws. Consolidated legislation should be published on official websites that allow point of time searching and browsing. No copyright in laws should be claimed, and laws should be able to be published by anyone. Legislation should be divided into codes by subject and new legislation should simply amend the existing codes. The names of codes should not be changed frequently—it is better that they no longer describe their contents and remain the same over hundreds of years than that the people are bewildered by constantly changing laws.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove