Second Workshop for the Human Rights Commission and Civil Society Organisations of the Maldives

The Foundation delivers the second workshop for the staff of the Human Rights Commission and members of various civil society organisations in Malé, Maldives.

From 30 November to 2 December 2019, the Max Planck Foundation conducted the second workshop for the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives and representatives from civil society organisations on the topic “Shaping legislation”.

The workshop focused on the various available avenues for the Human Rights Commission and civil society to contribute to legislative decision-making processes and to maximise their impact on laws, ensuring that human rights are given due consideration and attention at all stages of the drafting process. The participants were introduced to the concept and benefits of regulatory impact assessment and were presented with comparative examples of how it is being performed in other jurisdictions.

The focus of the workshop was to shed light on existing opportunities and best practices for human rights institutions and civil society representatives to contribute to the shaping of legislation according to their field of expertise and involvement in the law-making process. In addition, the workshop developed a methodology for tackling legislative problems and designing legislative solutions.

The techniques involved in structuring a Bill, including the importance of distinguishing between different types of provisions (preliminary, substantive and final provisions) were discussed. The workshop concluded with a session on the rules and conventions associated with formulating legislative sentences which included practical exercises to highlight the importance of pursuing clarity and plain language in legislative text. In addition, a session on shadow reporting discussed the tools needed to collect data and information to rationalise desired change and work with Treaty Bodies through reporting.

Throughout the workshop, all the sessions were complemented with exercises and simulations where participants were encouraged to apply the theoretical and practical knowledge gained during the workshop to address hypothetical examples on all the topics. The simulation exercises sparked interesting debate based on the different perspectives in the room and gave the participants an opportunity to share their vast experiences of engaging in the law-making process.

This workshop is the second of three to be held in partnership with the Human Rights Commission 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 planned to take place in Malé in 2020.