First Legislative Review and Compliance Workshop in Malé in cooperation with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of the Maldives and Civil Society Organisations

The first in a series of workshops for HRC and Civil Society Organisations staff took place from 7 to 9 October 2019

The Max Planck Foundation conducted its first workshop in partnership with the HRC of the Maldives and Civil Society Organisations. The workshop included five participants nominated by the newly established Bar Council of the Maldives. It was also attended by members of these institutions who are interested in engaging at different stages of the legislative process for the purpose of contributing to the quality and design of legislative reform. Jörn Rohde, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, inaugurated the workshop and addressed the participants, underlining the importance of civil society in a free and democratic society.

Presentations on the important role that stakeholders perform within the legislative process as well as the tools and techniques to analyse, review and comment on legislative proposals were addressed by the Foundation’s Research Fellows. The workshop programme focused on the procedures enshrined in and principles underpinning the Constitution of the Maldives including the Bill of Rights, enabling participants to be able to highlight legislative proposals that are do not comply with the Constitution of the Maldives.

In addition, the workshop addressed the sources of international law including the human rights instruments to which the Maldives is a party, allowing participants to be able to assess legislative proposals that are not in accordance with the State’s obligations under international law. The participants were highly engaged in lively simulation exercises throughout the workshop, in reviewing hypothetical legislative proposals at different stages of the legislative process, and also in identifying and proposing alternative ways to practically achieve the policy objectives of the legislative proposal. Furthermore, the workshop explored and addressed some of the practical challenges and difficulties faced by participants when engaged in the review of legislative proposals.

This workshop is the first of three to be held in partnership with the HRC of the Maldives and Civil Society Organisations as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives“. The next workshop is scheduled to take place in Malé from 30 November to 2 December 2019.