Third Legislative Drafting Workshop for Staff of the Attorney General’s Office in the Maldives

The Foundation delivers the final workshop on rationalising legislation and expressing legislative intent

Between 25 October and 5 November 2020, the Max Planck Foundation implemented an online programme on legislative drafting across a two-week period for 18 lawyers of the Attorney General’s Office of the Maldives. The programme focused on rationalising legislation and expressing legislative intent through live video conferences and independent study on the Foundation’s LEARN Platform. The LEARN platform is an open-source teaching environment that allows participants to watch videos, participate in exercises and engage in reading material that supplements the technical content covered during the video conference.

During the first week of the workshop, the participants addressed the methodology for pursuing rational legislation in the form of regulatory impact assessments and the steps involved in conducting impact assessments during the pre-legislative stage. They considered the crucial role of consultations and public participation throughout the law-making process and ways of engaging with the public in legislative decision-making processes through lively discussions with the Foundation’s Research Fellows. Special consideration was made for the particular governance challenges of the Maldives, as a small island nation and archipelagic State. Several practical exercises required the participants to develop policy positions on relevant topics and justify them based on the likely impact, and to formulate provisions that give effect to those considerations.

The second week of the workshop addressed the interpretive rules and techniques that drafters can rely on to clearly communicate the purpose and message of legislation to the target audience and to understand how the courts and other legal authorities are likely to interpret and apply it. Developing their knowledge of statutory interpretation, the participants determined the interpretation of ambiguous provisions, highlighting the importance of careful drafting in their work.

To conclude the entire workshop series, the participants engaged in a simulation exercise on a relevant topic, where participants were encouraged to apply the practical skills and knowledge gained over the course of the entire workshop series. The participants developed policy positions, formulated draft provisions and reviewed the quality of their own work through lively discussions with their colleagues and the Foundation’s Research Fellows.

This workshop is the final workshop of three on legislative drafting with the Attorney General’s Office as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives”. The Foundation endeavours to continue its excellent cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office of the Maldives in the future.